The Senate advanced the Keystone Pipeline bill Monday on a bipartisan 63-32 vote that paves the way for debate on a measure many expect will clear Congress.
“I know senators from both sides are hungry for a real Senate debate,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). ” We’ll have an open floor debate on jobs, the middle class, infrastructure and energy.”
The procedural vote allows Senate debate to begin and received bipartisan support, including ten Democrats, independent Angus King (I-ME), and all Republicans.
Senate progressives are expected to use the debate to slam Republicans over global warming. Self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asserted that the Keystone debate will rip open a historic fault line dividing environmentalists from s0-called global warming deniers.
“It’s not going to be forgotten by history. They’re going to be asking: Did you not hear what the scientific community all over the world is saying–that climate change is the most serious environmental crisis facing this planet?” said Sanders.
Polls have consistently shown that global warming remains a low-level concern for Americans. A Gallup poll last month found that just one percent of Americans rate “environment/pollution” a top concern.
President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the Keystone Pipeline bill.