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Public Statements

Keystone Pipeline

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I would simply offer a consent agreement that the majority leader objected to when he pulled the Shaheen bill a while back. It was pretty simple and pretty easily understood. This is the consent that was offered when the majority leader, as I said, pulled the Shaheen-Portman bill a while back. This is what I said:

I propose a different unanimous consent agreement. I ask unanimous consent that the only amendments in order be five amendments from the Republican side related to energy policy with a 60-vote threshold on adoption of each amendment. I further ask that following the disposition of those amendments, the bill be read a third time, and the Senate proceed to vote on the passage of the bill, as amended, if amended.

Now, that gives the majority leader what he was asking for on the last bill: 60-vote thresholds. It gives him amendments from our side related to energy policy, and it would have led to a vote on Keystone.

So I would propound that unanimous consent request again. It sounds to me as though we may be getting somewhere if the majority leader really wants to give us a chance to have a Keystone vote here on the Senate floor.


Mr. McCONNELL. Reserving the right to object, we didn't get amendments on Shaheen-Portman. So what the majority leader is now saying is he wants to pass a kind of comprehensive energy bill dealing with a variety of different subjects without any amendments at all as a condition for having a vote on Keystone with five amendments related to the subject.

I can remember when we used to vote around here. In fact, his Members have only had seven rollcall votes in a year. He has one Member from Alaska who has never had a rollcall vote on the floor his entire Senate career.

So I think rather than these UCs going back and forth, maybe we ought to talk about how to work this out and see if maybe the Senate could actually start voting on things again. I object.

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