Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Energy Bill Filibustered, Keystone Pipeline in Limbo After Reid Blocks Amendments

energy bill keystone xl pipeline filibuster

Portman and Shaheen co-authored an energy efficiency bill but it was filibustered in a dispute over amendments. A deal to allow a vote on the Keystone pipeline fell through as a result. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans blocked an energy efficiency bill after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repeatedly blocked Republican efforts to vote on five energy amendments Monday — and the GOP rejected an offer to vote on the Keystone pipeline instead.

The 55-36 vote highlights the reality in today’s Senate — 60 votes are needed for legislation. And Reid has been very reluctant to give Republicans votes on amendments that could put vulnerable Democrats on the spot ahead of the midterm elections.

Reid repeatedly offered up a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline if the energy efficiency bill passed, but that wasn’t enough for Senate Republicans.

Republicans also offered to vote on all pending amendments to the bill from either party, but that was also rejected.

“This bill is being filibustered by some of its own co-sponsors,” said Reid, D-Nev. “This useless, mind-boggling obstruction is what continually grinds the wheels of the Senate to a screeching halt.”

“I’m disappointed the Senate failed to advance my bipartisan plan to create almost 200,000 jobs, reduce pollution and save taxpayers billions,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who co-authored the bipartisan bill with Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. “I worked hard with Senator Portman and a countless number of business and environmental interests to craft a smart, pragmatic energy bill because we knew that was in the best interests of our economy and our environment. People in New Hampshire and across the country lost out today because of election-year politics, but I will continue to fight for Shaheen-Portman because it’s a win-win-win for jobs, clean air and taxpayers.”

The fate of Keystone pipeline remains in doubt, with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., vowing to continue her fight to approve the pipeline but no obvious avenue to force a vote.

Sarah Chacko and Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.

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