Keystone bill fails to clear Senate hurdle, debate drags on

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from FoxNews,

Senate Republicans failed to rally enough votes Monday to advance a bill approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, putting a crimp in their plans to quickly move toward a final vote.

The preliminary vote, on shutting down amendment submissions, was 53-39. The bill needed 60 to advance.

Senate Democrats successfully filibustered to keep open the amendment process, despite getting more amendments voted on under new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., so far this year than members did all of last year under former chamber leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the total amendment count is now 24.

For Republicans, who have made it their first order of business in the new Congress they control, the pipeline is critical to supplying the country with jobs and with oil from a friendly neighbor, rather than the Middle East.

After the vote, Reid accused Republicans of trying to “shut down the debate.”

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