Louisiana Senate Candidates Race to Hold Lame Duck Votes On Keystone XL Pipeline

Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy pushing for separate votes on Keystone XL pipeline

“I believe it is time to act. I believe that we should take the new majority leader at his word and stop blocking legislation that is broadly supported by the American public and has been for quite some time,” Landrieu, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, said on the Senate floor. “I want to say yes to majority leader, to new majority leader Mitch McConnell. The time to start is now.”

But Republicans on the other side of the Capitol are working swiftly to hold a vote of their own on the pipeline, a measure that is sponsored by Landrieu’s opponent Cassidy. The House Rules Committee announced it was holding a meeting Wednesday night to consider the Keystone XL pipeline bill, described as an “emergency measure,” and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the measure would be considered on the House floor Thursday.

The Senate agreed to hold a vote on Keystone XL as early as Tuesday.

“I think it’s kind of too little too late and everybody gets the bad joke right?” Cornyn told reporters Wednesday.“That under the current management Senator Landrieu couldn’t even get a vote on this piece of legislation that might’ve actually helped her on November the 4th but now they’re going to do it before December the 6th? I think people are smarter than that,” Cornyn told reporters Wednesday. "

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will appoint Cassidy to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee should he win run-off.

Throughout her campaign, Landrieu touted her support for the Keystone XL pipeline as well as her chairmanship on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Most Republicans and a handful of Democrats in the Senate support the pipeline.

Senate Democrats attempted to hold a vote on the measure earlier this year, but Senate Republicans wanted to add additional energy related amendments to the measure, which kept it from moving forward.