With Mary Landrieu convening a show vote today on the Keystone XL Pipeline, we wanted you to see just what a joke the whole thing is. Yesterday, Harry Reid laughed off suggestions he would bring the Keystone bill to the floor again for a vote, exposing why Landrieu vowed to abandon her own legislation after today’s vote. Once again, we are reminded that Landrieu’s so-called “clout” is nothing more than a campaign talking point and that the real problem with Keystone is Landrieu herself, who has enabled the anti-energy Democrat majority by allying herself with Reid and previously siding with him to block a floor vote on the pipeline.
· Senator Landrieu Pledged To Walk Away From Her Own Keystone Bill Once It Leaves Her Committee. “’Then it's going to be up to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] as to whether they can negotiate a straight-up vote on Keystone. That will be their negotiation. I will have done my part,’ Landrieu said.” (Zack Coleman, “Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline Set For Senate Panel,” Washington Examiner, 6/12/14)
NOTE: Reid on Tuesday laughed at the suggestion that he bring the bill to a vote, and blamed Republicans for failing to take an offer for a standalone Keystone XL vote last month in connection with an energy efficiency bill.
Analysis: Landrieu gets Keystone, but Reid calls the shots
June 18, 2014
If there was any doubt that Majority Leader Harry Reid has the final say in the Senate when it comes to energy issues, just ask Sen. Mary Landrieu -- and Republicans.
Landrieu, D-La., took the gavel of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in time for her re-election campaign, and is pursuing a decidedly pro-oil and natural gas agenda. But Reid, D-Nev., has made it clear that the buck stops with him in the Senate, and that passage of a Keystone XL pipeline approval bill in her committee will likely be a symbolic victory.
Reid was working to make sure Landrieu passes his favored nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the planned Wednesday committee voting session. Yet he also downplayed any chance that he would bring up the Keystone bill that Landrieu plans to push through the committee in the same session.
Landrieu was cagey with reporters on Tuesday, avoiding direct questions about what she would do to get FERC nominee Norman Bay through the committee.
She also refused to be pinned down on whether she had a deal in hand with Reid and the Obama White House to keep Cheryl LaFleur, the acting FERC chair, in that spot for up to a year, while Bay gets experience as a commissioner.
The Bay nomination has given Republicans an opening to criticize Obama and Reid for appearing to push a woman out of the post in favor of Bay, who has no direct regulatory experience, though he has been FERC's enforcement chief since 2009.
It's apparent from Reid's recent statements that he won't back down from supporting Bay, a Westerner from New Mexico, over LaFleur, a former electricity executive from the Northeast, even though both are Democrats.
But the Senate leader also indicated that the Keystone bill, even if passed by Landrieu with mostly Republican votes in committee, has little chance of being brought up in the Senate this year.
Reid on Tuesday laughed at the suggestion that he bring the bill to a vote, and blamed Republicans for failing to take an offer for a standalone Keystone XL vote last month in connection with an energy efficiency bill.
Republicans accused Landrieu of passing the Keystone bill now solely as a re-election ploy. They will still vote for it in the committee, said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., a member of the Senate Republican leadership, but not because they think Reid will do anything with it.
"I'm expecting we will, I support it," Barrasso said when asked if Republicans will back the bill. "We'll see how many of her side votes for it."
Barrasso also brought up Republican arguments against Bay. "I think he's not qualified for this position, and I don't understand why the president wants to demote a capable woman from the chairmanship of the FERC, to replace her with an unqualified man who just really (lacks) the experience to take over this job," he said.
From the Democrats' perspective, on Wednesday, Landrieu will gain the ability to tout her influence and willingness to buck Reid -- a little -- by passing the Keystone bill.
Reid will win in the end, though. He'll get Landrieu to advance his FERC nominee, while consigning her Keystone bill to gathering dust.