Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu says she has the 60 votes she needs for the Senate to advance a measure Tuesday that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Landrieu has been scrambling to attract at least 15 Democrats to join 45 Republicans to reach the critical 60-vote procedural threshold. She told reporters at the Capitol on Monday night that she'd reached that mark.
At least 14 Democrats have said they will support the measure. But it's not clear who has agreed to provide the final vote or whether Landrieu's comments simply reflect optimism.
We reported yesterday that Sen. Landrieu was aggressively vote whipping several Senate Democrats to support the measure. But her tenuous coalition seems to be either non-committal -- or abandoning ship:
One of Landrieu's top targets, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, said it won't be him. Another target, Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said he is leaning against supporting the bill.
The legislation will be voted on later today.
But, of course, one question worth asking is: If Landrieu means what she says, is there any chance whatsoever the president will buck his party's base and sign it into law?
“Well, that’s the real question,” Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) told Gretchen Carlson last week on Fox News.
As one might imagine, and as Sen. Coats points out, it’s pretty unseemly watching Sen. Landrieu suddenly so passionate and gung-ho about Keystone after years of inaction. I’m sure the December 6th runoff has nothing to do with it. But as Guy previously noted, if the president does indeed go ahead with his sweeping and unilateral amnesty push, she’s toast anyway. In effect, Sen. Landrieu needs the president to delay any amnesty action until after the runoff (which, by the way, almost half of Americans would be in favor of) and get the Keystone XL Pipeline approved to have any sort of chance of winning. And even if fortune smiles upon her -- which seems highly unlikely at this point -- she could still lose by a landslide.
Stay tuned. We’ll write up how the Senate votes later today.