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The Senate moved through 14 amendments Wednesday, with two being withdrawn.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.
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Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is expected to plead guilty to a raft of new tax and fraud charges filed against him by special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday. Gates is expected to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.
Robert Mueller announced new charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort advisor Rick Gates. "The new indictment contains 32 counts, including tax charges." The pair had been indicted on 12 charges in October. Since then, Gates's attorneys have asked to be excused from the case.
The FBI has reported that it failed to respond to a warning from "a person close to" Nikolas Cruz, the teen accused of killing 17 people at Parkland High School on Thursday. "It was the second time the FBI apparently failed to follow up on Cruz." On the first occasion, it failed to properly investigate Cruz after it was reported to them that he left the following comment on a Youtube video: "Im going to be a school shooter."
Florida Governor Rick Scott called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign following revelations that the FBI had failed to adequately investigate multiple warnings about Parkland High School gunman Nikolas Cruz. “The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,'" said Scott. '...We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act.'" According to an FBI statement, the FBI failed to inform local offices of information regarding "Cruz's desire to kill people, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."