Senate Scrambling to Save Keystone XL Pipeline

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Washington, DC

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Hoeven (R-ND) see three ways to save a bill meant to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline — which the White House promised to veto. Each prospective path through the Senate has its own problems.

The Senate needs 67 votes to override a presidential veto. The vote is currently stuck at 63; the four additional votes will be difficult, if not impossible to get. “It’s not easy,” Hoeven told Politico. “We may be able to override. I’m just not sure.”

A second option would last weeks and involve an open amendment process, with amendments acting as “pot sweeteners” to attract more votes to overcome an override.

The third option involves attaching it to a piece of “must-pass” legislation supposedly sure to get Obama’s signature. It’s unclear if the Senate can make any of those approaches work.

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