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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Obama Lobbies Senate Democrats Against Keystone Pipeline- Update: Senate Dems Kill Bill 56-42 Vote

By Susan Duclos

[Update] Senate rejects the bill, 56 senators voted in favor of the amendment -- four short of the 60 required for approval. Eleven Democrats joined a unanimous Republican caucus in backing the plan.

See how your Senator voted. (Roll call here)

Contact your Senator if they voted against the amendment and make your voice heard.

Original post below:

According to The Politico the Obama administration and Obama himself is personally lobbying Senate Democrats to reject an amendment calling for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Keystone has support across political party lines as well as bipartisan support within the Senate.

The White House lobbying effort, including phone calls from the president to Democrats, signals that the vote could be close when it heads to the floor Thursday. The president is trying to defeat an amendment that would give election-year fodder to his Republican critics who have accused him of blocking a job-creating energy project at a time of high gas prices.

The amendment, proposed by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), states that Obama would have no role in such cross-border permitting decisions since, in this case, the pipeline would originate in Canada. The measure would need 60 votes to pass, and Obama has already lost two Democrats who back the proposal - Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mary Landrieu - and is at risk of losing more moderates and vulnerable Democrats.

There is broad support for Keystone, with 49 percent of Democrats supporting it despite Obama's claims that it is a Republican vs Democrat issue. (Source- Pew)

Among those who have heard at least a little [about the issue], there is strong public support for building the pipeline. About two-thirds (66%) think the government should approve the building of the pipeline, while 23% say it should not be approved.

Even among Democrats who have heard about the issue, a 49% plurality support the government approving the pipeline while 33% say it should not be approved. But there is a strong ideological division among Democrats; 63% of conservative and moderate Democrats support the building of the pipeline, compared with just 30% of liberal Democrats. A plurality of liberal Democrats (49%) say the pipeline should not be approved.

By a 66% to 27% margin, far more independents who have heard about the issue think the government should approve the building of the Keystone XL pipeline than say it should not be approved…

There is also bipartisan support for Keystone within the Senate with many as 14 Senate Democrats supportive of the project, so Obama is, in effect, asking them to go against their own judgment as well as their constituents, for the sake of Obama's reelection campaign.

23 Senate Democrats are also up for reelection and Obama has already refused to help them financially and now he expects them to sacrifice their reelection for his.

The very definition of chutzpah.