Keystone bill passes House: eyes now turn to Senate.

That’s one way to put it, at least:

The House on Friday passed legislation to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, setting the stage for a showdown in the Senate next week.

The legislation was approved 252-161, with 31 Democrats joining Republicans in backing a construction permit for the controversial project, which would bring oil sands from Canada to refineries in the United States.


…although I should note that the term ‘controversial’ is, well, controversial: basically, the most progressive Democrats out there hate the thing, largely because they don’t like Americans to have cheap energy*.  Everybody else thinks that the idea is just swell; unfortunately – for the Democrats – the aforementioned progressives made a better offer.  Short-term thinking for the win!

But there’s another way to put it: which is, Who loves their legislators more?  More from the Hill:

Passage of the bill was hailed by its chief House sponsor, [mc_name name=’Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001075′ ] (R-La.), who is facing a runoff against [mc_name name=’Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000550′ ] (D-La.) on Dec. 6 after neither won a majority in the general election.

Of course the GOP pushed the bill out almost immediately after the election:  aside from pretty much everything else, doing so is a solid favor for Rep. Cassidy.  The question is, though, is whether [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] is going to give Sen. Landrieu a single, solitary, isolated smidgen of assistance in her upcoming race.  There’s a general perception that Landrieu is doomed, you see. So why should Reid do her the favor, given that the alternative is forcing Barack Obama to embarrassingly veto the bill?


…Veteran Senate-watchers will no doubt read that paragraph with a certain amount of shock, or possibly cosmic horror; like many extremely exclusive organizations, the Senate tends to think in terms of being them against the world**.  That the head of the Senate Democratic caucus might actually consider the well-being of the parvenu sitting in the Oval Office over that of a Senator – well, that’s just strange.  Wrong. It’s like adding 2+2 and getting ‘purple.’

Mind you, it may in fact happen that Landrieu will get her version of the bill past the cloture vote.  If that happens it’ll probably pass – and get promptly vetoed, because Barack Obama doesn’t care about any Democratic politician not named ‘Barack Obama.’ But Landrieu losing the cloture vote serves Reid’s purposes, as there will be a few Democrats up for re-election who will not want to have ‘voted against Keystone’ on their rap sheets. Won’t help Landrieu, but again… general perception that she is doomed.

:shaking head: You can say a lot of things about the Republican party, and I’d probably agree with a good many of them.  But the cynical callousness on display here – against one of their own! – is just nasty. I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to defend this kind purposeful disloyalty…


Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Look up ‘deep ecology’ sometime.  Short version: some people think that we have too much stuff.  Where it gets awkward is that a nontrivial percentage of those people define ‘a second child’ as ‘stuff.’

**Admittedly, the Senate is in a better place than most groups are when it comes to fighting off the world.


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