President Obama won't have to make a decision about whether to veto the Keystone XL oil pipeline this year. A bill to send the measure to his desk failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the Senate this evening, reports AP. Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, facing a runoff election on Dec. 6, could not convince enough of her fellow Democrats to join the 45 Republicans who voted in favor, but she came oh-so-close—the final vote was 59-41. The defeat is widely seen as good news for her Republican runoff opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, reports Politico. (Even had she succeeded, Obama had signaled that a veto was imminent.)
Competing quotes from the Senate floor prior to the vote:
- Landrieu: "To everyone who thinks this pipeline is the end of the world—we already have 2.6 million miles of pipeline in the United States. We're only completing basically 1,000 miles. What is everyone upset about?"
- Barbara Boxer: “What does XL stand for?" asked the California Democrat, as quoted by the Hill. "To me it stands for extra lethal. This is a serious environmental hazard.”
Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, promised that the "new majority" in the Senate would take up the bill next year and send it to Obama.