WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2015 – Senate Republicans failed to get a veto-proof margin on a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline but pledged to tack the measure onto other energy legislation.
The Senate approved the bill, 62-36, with the support of nine Democrats, but 67 votes would be needed for the two-thirds margin required to overcome a veto.
The final vote came after marathon sessions in which the senators debated dozens of amendments, including one that Democrats proposed to force Republicans to go on record as to whether climate change was a “hoax" or not. The amendment, approved 98-1, said climate change was real.
Before the Keystone legislation (S. 1) can go to the White House, the House will have to agree to changes made in the Senate or else negotiators would have to agree on another version. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said he expected the legislation to get to President Obama “very quickly.”
The bill’s GOP supporters argued that the extended debate over amendments, which also included proposals on such issues as the Endangered Species Act, exports of LNG, and renewable energy, was valuable in and of itself.