Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s sharp rebuff of GOP demands for votes on amendments to an energy efficiency bill could doom consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline, The Hill reported Tuesday.
The Nevada Democrat said he wouldn’t allow votes on any GOP-sponsored amendments later this week when the Senate considers a bipartisan energy bill sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
The Hill reports Reid’s balk probably scuttles a vote expected on the Keystone XL pipeline unless Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky caves on his demand for votes on GOP sponsored amendments.
Republican senators have prepared a host of amendments to the energy bill, including one to authorize immediate construction of the Keystone pipeline, and another that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Earlier, the Senate voted 79-20 to limit debate on the energy efficiency bill, but the two parties continued to bicker over what amendments to allow, including the pipeline project.
“The American people deserve a real debate on how we can best tap our own extraordinary natural resources to achieve energy independence at home and how we can help our allies overseas through increased exports of American energy,” McConnell demanded.
“But we can’t move forward if the Democrats who run the Senate keep trying to protect the president at the expense of serving their constituents.”