The big news out of Congress today is that the House passed a bill to authorize the building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. In terms of getting the pipeline built, the vote doesn't mean much, observes the New York Times. But in terms of the Senate runoff in Louisiana, it looms large. The House measure approved today (as expected) was sponsored by Republican Bill Cassidy, who faces Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in that Dec. 6 runoff, reports the Washington Post. Both favor the pipeline and are trying to impress the voters back home. Landrieu's test comes Tuesday, when the Senate votes.
If she can get 60 votes to avoid a filibuster, the measure goes straight to President Obama's desk. As of now, it's uncertain whether she'll succeed, and even if she does, President Obama seems all but certain to veto it, reports Politico. The Hill agrees, citing Obama's "strong signals" that he wants to wait for a federal review to be completed. It adds that a veto "could deal a blow to Landrieu's chances in the runoff." For the record, the House vote was 252-161, with 31 Democrats joining Republicans. Every Republican voted in favor, except for libertarian-leaning Justin Amash of Michigan. (More TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline stories.)