Senate Kills GOP Measure to Push Keystone Pipeline

But vote was close, a warning for Obama
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2012 6:45 PM CST
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and other GOP leaders, holds a news conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Looks like a good-news, bad-news result for President Obama today on the Keystone oil pipeline. The good news for him is that a Republican measure to fast-track the controversial pipeline fell short in the Senate, reports the Hill. Obama had personally lobbied against the measure, and passage would have been an embarrassment for him. In that sense, the vote is a "White House victory," in the words of the Washington Post.

The bad news for Obama is that Republicans fell only four votes short of the necessary "filibuster-proof" total of 60. In fact, 11 Democrats crossed the aisle, a sign of how politically volatile the issue of energy policy (and rising gas prices) has become, adds the Post. The result, writes Politico, "serves both as a warning to President Barack Obama that a majority of both houses of Congress supports the pipeline and as encouragement to Republicans to keep pushing the issue." (Read more TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline stories.)

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