Senate Democrats Payback GOP Obstruction With First Successful Filibuster Of Keystone XL

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Republicans got a taste of their own medicine as Senate Democrats successfully filibustered an attempt by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end the debate on the bill to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Hill reported:

The Senate on Monday failed to end debate on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, making it likely that a final vote on the measure won’t take place until next week.

In a 53-39 vote, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 needed to end debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) switched his vote from yes to no, a procedural move that allows him to bring up the motion again.

The tally fell short because several Democrats who support building the pipeline voted to continue the debate. A number of GOP senators also missed the vote because of their travel plans.

The bill to authorize the construction of the pipeline will eventually pass, but Democrats are sending a message to McConnell and the Republicans that they are going to hold McConnell to his word that the Senate will be run by an open process. Keystone XL was previously viewed as one of the easier things that Republicans thought they could pass, but Senate Democrats have shown themselves to solid opposition.

Democrats are holding firm. They are not going to roll over and let Republicans run over them. The Democratic filibusters are a bit of poetic justice. When he was Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell used obstructionist tactics to slow down the Senate to a crawl. The difference between the behaviors of Senate Democrats and Republicans is that the Democrats aren’t obstructing for the sake of obstruction. Senate Democrats are holding McConnell to his word. Mitch McConnell promised Democrats that the Senate will be run more openly. McConnell doesn’t get to whatever he pleases, because his plan to pass Keystone XL isn’t unfolding as he expected.



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