Steve Daines: Democrats Voted to Support Keystone but Schumer-Driven Move Nixed Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) speaks at a Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing, with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Treasury Department at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2019 in Washington, …
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) sent out an email on Thursday celebrating the passage of an amendment in the budget resolution to restart the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline to preserve jobs and energy independence — including two Democrats who voted for it.

“Following passage of his amendment showing support for the Keystone XL pipeline, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today called on his Democratic colleagues to join his legislation to authorize its construction,” the email said.

“I’m glad to see my amendment in support of the Keystone XL pipeline pass the Senate,” Daines said in a statement. “To the Senate Democrats who voted yes, your support can’t stop here. Now it’s time to cosponsor my bill to authorize the project.”

“Montana and our country need this pipeline,” Daines said. “Our workers need this pipeline. Americans have already been given the pink slip. Their paychecks—gone. Let’s pass my bill and get it done.”

But overnight the resolution was changed after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued his own last-minute amendment.

“In the wee hours of the morning, in the most D.C. swampy way possible, Senate Democrats flip flopped on their support for American energy and union jobs by killing Senator Daines’ Keystone XL Pipeline amendment and another supporting fracking,” a Daines spokesperson said in a statement distributed on Friday. “They thought they could get away with it while the American people were asleep.” 

“Folks will know that when it came down to it, every single Senate Democrat chose to stand with the job-killing, Green New Deal radicals over American union jobs and blue-collar workers,” the spokesperson said. “For those representing Western states and for those that flip flopped on their support, you’ll have some explaining to do, not just on your opposition to the pipeline and fracking, but for your misleading attempt to pull a fast one to protect a partisan, far-left agenda.”

The amendment on fracking put forth by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) — the drilling technique that has almost singlehandedly led the domestic energy revolution and made the United States a net exporter of oil and natural gas for the first time — was also removed by Schumer’s last-minute Senate Amendment #888.

“Schumer’s Amendment #888 passed 51-50 aka Vice President Kamala Harris broke the tie,” Daines’s staff said of the development. “Either of the two Democrats who originally supported Daines’ amendment, or the several who supported Braun’s amendment, could have held strong in their support, and Schumer’s Amendment #888 would have failed.” 

Daines vowed not to give up in a Twitter post.

“[Democrats] chose to stand with Green New Deal radicals over American jobs & blue-collar workers. They chose to stand against tax revenue for counties & low energy costs for families,” Daines tweeted.

“Montanans & the American people will know where they stand. But also know this, I won’t stop fighting.”

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