The Senate’s weeks-long reintroduction to regular order on the Keystone XL pipeline bill could be over as soon as Thursday.
After moving through more than a dozen amendments as part of a marathon voting session Wednesday afternoon, aenators reached a deal that sets up a final vote on the pipeline bill Thursday afternoon.
There will be votes on up to seven amendments in the morning, with another block of amendments coming in the afternoon. Under an agreement between Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that’s expected to clear the way for final passage after the final amendment votes.
The bill, which was sponsored by all 54 Republicans and six Democrats, is expected to pass easily, but President Obama has promised a veto.
Due up tomorrow is an amendment from Louisiana Republicans David Vitter and Bill Cassidy regarding the distribution of revenues from drilling on areas of the Outer Continental Shelf. Murkowski also said the Senate will bring up an amendment from Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., that would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The Senate moved through 14 amendments Wednesday, with two being withdrawn. Ultimately, only one — a measure from Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine related to coordinating policies on energy retrofits for school — passed by voice vote.
Among the casualties were an amendment from Murkowski blocking the federal government from managing an area as wilderness without congressional approval within a year and an amendment from Republican Ted Cruz of Texas to expedite liquified natural gas exports. Language from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., that would require campaign finance disclosure from companies benefitting from the tar sands was also voted down.
What We're Following See More »
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, kicking off a widely-anticipated diplomatic summit that "consists of a one-on-one meeting and a larger working lunch, and will conclude with a joint news conference." During his opening remarks, President Trump did not mention Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, instead focusing on the World Cup, China and nuclear weapons. His one-on-one meeting with Putin is expected to last around 90 minutes.
"The mercurial veteran GOP political operative, Roger Stone, has acknowledged that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with an alleged Russian hacker, as described in a new indictment against a dozen Russians returned Friday by a federal grand jury." He told ABC News that he previously admitted to the contact to House investigators. He called the correspondence "benign."
"A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been charged with conspiring" to hack into Democratic organizations, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and state election boards and private companies providing ballot verifying software for the 2016 presidential election, announced Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The Russians corresponded "with several Americans," Rosenstein said, who clarified that there was "no allegation in this indictment" that the Americans knew they were speaking with Russian hackers.
"President Trump described the European Union as 'a foe' in an interview with CBS News on Sunday, ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. "I think we have a lot of foes," Trump said. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they are a foe."