Washington (CNN) - A razor close vote is expected in the Senate Thursday on a Republican amendment to bypass the Obama administration's objections and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Senate aides from both parties told CNN. Democratic aides, however, expressed some optimism the provision would be defeated.
President Obama lobbied wavering Democrats by phone to shore up Democratic support for his position, a senior Democratic source told CNN. It could be embarrassing for the White House if a large number of Democrats voted to overturn the administration's Keystone policy, which has been hotly debated as gas prices continue to rise during this election year. Several Democrats, including moderates up for re-election and those from oil producing states, support the Keystone pipeline but are torn whether to split with the president.
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Congressional Republicans blasted the president for twisting arms of fellow Democrats.
"By personally lobbying against the Keystone pipeline, it means the President of the United States is lobbying for sending North American energy to China and lobbying against American jobs," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said at a news conference.
To make matters more difficult for the administration, Democratic aides said reports last week that former President Bill Clinton came out in favor of building the pipeline are making it harder for Democratic senators to oppose it.
The measure needs 60 votes to pass which means, with Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois out sick, Republicans will need to pick up 14 Democratic votes for the amendment to pass.
A vote is expected sometime after 4 p.m.
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Listen to reason
Lots of misinformed posters. The pipeline lowers gas prices and creates US jobs. Obama stated in 2008 that "gas prices would necessarily skyrocket". Propping up "alternative fuels" will not help the economy or increase real energy. Alt fuels has to become a viable business on it's own.
No. That is so wrong. The makers of the pipeline themselves stated that the number of permanent jobs for Americans would be in the hundreds. Second, this would NOT lower gas prices. As the democrats are saying now, and FOX News stated 3 years ago, "gas prices are not affected by the President or his policies, but are fixed on the global market." Do some research please, thank you
He/she DID do research. The Weepy Man from Tan and the Blimp from AM radio said so. Research done. "DITTO"
@The Real Tom Paine,,,,,Right noel, its anti-American to make sure something goes through the proper review process, rather than politicising it by ramming it through without a review. More jobs will be generated by doing it right than will be by pushing it through prematurely, unless you own an environmental/ hazmat cleanup crew.
Tom, I'm not holding you personally responsible, but,,,,,Hmmm, like they made sure the healthcare law went through "the proper review process?" With nobody voting for it knowing what was in it?
Remember folks, the Republican party is the one that wants to get rid of the EPA...what does that tell you?
I voted for Obama and will likely again, but his position on this is crazy. How can more oil NOT lead to lower prices eventually? If you dont believe the laws of supply and demand, you cant be helped.