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The Senate moved through 14 amendments Wednesday, with two being withdrawn.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's personal attorney Michael Cohen was paid at least $400,000 to arrange a meeting between Victor Poroshenko and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev. Shortly after the meeting, which was held at the White House was last June, the Ukrainian "anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort." Poroshenko was reportedly desperate to meet with Trump, after documents leaked under his watch revealed that President Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort had failed to disclose his connections with the Ukrainian presidential elections, in violation of U.S. election law.
Ohio Democratic voters have filed suit against Ohio Governor John Kasich and other Republican state officials over alleged partisan gerrymandering in Ohio's electoral map. Despite capturing between 51 and 59 percent of the statewide vote in the past three elections, Republicans hold three-quarters of state congressional seats. "The U.S. Supreme Court is due by the end of June to issue major rulings in two partisan gerrymandering cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that could affect the Ohio suit."
An Iranian missile scientist, killed in a strike in 2011 along with his research center, oversaw the development of a secret, second facility in the remote Iranian desert that ... is operating to this day," according to a team of California weapons experts. "For weeks, the researchers picked through satellite photos of the facility. They found, they say, that work on the site now appears to focus on advanced rocket engines and rocket fuel, and is often conducted under cover of night."