A bipartisan effort to advance the Keystone XL pipeline bill picked up steam just a few hours after Congress got back from an extended break yesterday. The House is expected to vote on the measure sometime today, and the bill would then head to the Senate early next week, reports Reuters. The $8 billion project would then end up on the president's desk for approval. Behind the sudden movement: Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who's clinging to her political life. She and Republican Sen. John Hoeven introduced the bill together in May, but Senate Democrats dropped opposition to Keystone in hopes of giving her a lift in her Dec. 6 runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy in her "energy-rich" state, NPR reports. Landrieu even agreed to submit a version of her measure with Cassidy's name on it just to get it in the works, Politico adds.
If Keystone does get to Obama, he may need to dust off his veto pen, which he's used precious little thus far in his tenure; experts predict more vetoes to come with a Republican-controlled Congress, Roll Call reports. With regard to Keystone, the president's predilection seems apparent: A White House spokesman traveling with Obama in Asia told reporters, via Reuters, "The administration has taken a dim view of these kinds of legislative proposals in the past. It's fair to say that our dim view of these kinds of proposals has not changed." As for Landrieu, even if her proposal doesn't pass, Louisiana voters will recognize her efforts. "They'll know back home that she's trying," a former Louisiana senator tells Politico. (Read more TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline stories.)