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Landrieu's Keystone Failure

- November 18, 2014

Mary Landrieu's So-Called "Clout" In The Senate Fails Again

TONIGHT, THE DEMOCRAT-LED SENATE FAILED TO PASS A BILL ON THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE

“A Senate Bill Aimed At Approving The Keystone XL Pipeline Stalled Tuesday, Dealing A Blow To Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Tough Reelection Bid.” (Steven Dennis, “Keystone XL Pipeline Stalls In Senate Vote,” Roll Call, 11/18/14)

  • Due To Democrat Opposition, “41 Senators Have Voted Against The Pipeline, Ensuring It Would Fail To Get The 60 Votes Necessary.” “In addition to Landrieu, Democrats who backed the pipeline included Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, John Walsh of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia. But 41 senators have voted against the pipeline, ensuring it would fail to get the 60 votes necessary.” (Steven Dennis, “Keystone XL Pipeline Stalls In Senate Vote,” Roll Call, 11/18/14)

NBC's Chuck Todd, On Landrieu's Keystone Vote: "I Think It Only Highlights A Powerlessness."CHUCK TODD: "I think it's going to be an uphill battle. I'm trying to figure out where they find 15 votes. That's a lot of Democratic votes. … Maybe if they thought she could win, they might do it, if they thought it would help. By the way, I don't know how this helps. President vetoing, I think it only highlights a powerlessness." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 11/18/14)

Just Last Night, Landrieu Boasted That She Was "Confident" She Had The 60 Votes To Pass Bill Cassidy's Keystone Legislation

On Monday, Landrieu Said She Was "Very Comfortable" About The Keystone Vote, And Said She "Might Exceed The 60-Vote Threshold." "By Monday evening Ms. Landrieu was back in Washington, where she told reporters as she headed to the Senate floor that she felt 'very comfortable' about the vote and said she might exceed the 60-vote threshold. Asked who the 60th vote was, Ms. Landrieu smiled, stepped into a waiting elevator and winked as the doors closed." (Coral Davenport and Ashley Parker, "Landrieu Tries to Gather Enough Votes on Keystone Pipeline," The New York Times , 11/17/14)

  • Landrieu: "I Am Confident That We'll Have The 60 Votes To Pass It." "'I am confident that we'll have the 60 votes to pass it,' Landrieu added." (Elana Schor and Darren Goode, "Mary Landrieu Scrambles For 60th Vote For Keystone," Politico, 11/17/14)

LANDRIEU'S FAILURE TO GET A KEYSTONE BILL THROUGH THE SENATE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HER EMPTY "CLOUT" ARGUMENT

During A Debate Last Month, Landrieu Touted Her Clout As The Senate Energy Committee Chair, Claiming She Is Currently In "A Particularly Great Position" For Louisianans. LANDRIEU: "As chair of the Energy committee I'm in a particularly great position right now on behalf of the people of Louisiana to help create millions of high paying jobs so your generation can benefit…" (Sen. Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senate Debate At Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 10/29/14)

  • As Energy Committee Chair, Landrieu's Lack Of Ability To Pass Legislation Is "Undermining Her Clout Argument." "Her leadership of the committee could end up undermining her clout argument, however, as the Democratic senator rallies for positions at odds with the Obama administration and the Senate's Democratic leadership, and seems unable to gain traction on high-profile disputes." (Melinda Deslatte, "Analysis: Landrieu's Clout Pitch Has A Weakness," The Associated Press, 8/10/14)

Landrieu Has Made Promises Before On Keystone Only To See Them Be Broken

In May, Landrieu Said It Was Her "Understanding" That Harry Reid Would Bring Her Keystone Bill To The Floor For A Vote. "Ms. Landrieu said Thursday it was her 'understanding' that Mr. Reid would bring that bill to the floor for a vote, adding that there are 'ongoing negotiations' with the White House on the Keystone vote. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that Congress should stay out of the process." (Amy Harder and Kristina Peterson, "Senate Likely To Vote Soon On Keystone Approval, Democrats Say," The Wall Street Journal , 5/1/14)

  • The Associated Press Headline: "Democratic Leader Blocks Senate Vote On Keystone." (Matthew Daly, "Democratic Leader Blocks Senate Vote On Keystone," The Associated Press, 5/7/14)

In June, Landrieu Pushed Legislation Through Her Energy And Natural Resources Committee That Would Approve Of The Keystone XL Pipeline. "Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., pushed legislation through her Senate Energy Committee Wednesday that would bypass President Barack Obama and approve the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Republicans voted yes, joining Landrieu and one other Democrat to produce a 12-10 vote to advance the legislation. But two committee Republicans accused the new Energy Committee chair of pursuing the committee action to advance her own re-election prospects." (Bruce Alpert, "Republicans Provide 'Yes Votes' For Sen. Landrieu's Keystone Bill, But Cynicism, Too," The Times-Picayune, 6/18/14)

  • Even Though Landrieu Passed A Bill On Keystone In The Energy Committee, Harry Reid "Chuckled At The Suggestion Of Bringing Up The Bill Again, Saying Its Time Had Passed." "The high-profile committee vote on the Keystone XL pipeline -- which Republicans had earlier requested -- was just as quickly dismissed by some of those same Republicans as a 'show vote.' And even though his leadership post could depend on Landrieu's political survival, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) chuckled at the suggestion of bringing up the bill again, saying its time had passed." (Nick Juliano, "Senate Dysfunction Stymies Landrieu's Narrative As She Battles For Re-Election," E&E Daily, 6/24/14)

LANDRIEU'S "CLOUT" ARGUMENT IS ONLY A CAMPAIGN SLOGAN - SHE'S MISSING IN ACTION ON ENERGY ISSUES

According To A Bloomberg Analysis, "Between January 2009 And This Week, Landrieu Didn't Speak Or Submit Written Testimony Or Questions At Almost 70 Percent Of The Energy Committee Hearings." "Between January 2009 and this week, Landrieu didn't speak or submit written testimony or questions at almost 70 percent of the energy committee hearings, according to an analysis of congressional records, videos and transcripts." (Lisa Lerer and Annie Linskey, "Louisiana's Landrieu Silent At Almost 70% Of Energy Hearings," Bloomberg, 11/18/14)

  • "From 2009 To 2010 [Landrieu] Was Silent At Or Skipped 65 Of 87 Hearings." (Lisa Lerer and Annie Linskey, "Louisiana's Landrieu Silent At Almost 70% Of Energy Hearings," Bloomberg, 11/18/14)
  • "From 2011 To 2012, [Landrieu] Didn't Say Anything At Or Didn't Attend 50 Of 66 Meetings." (Lisa Lerer and Annie Linskey, "Louisiana's Landrieu Silent At Almost 70% Of Energy Hearings," Bloomberg, 11/18/14)
  • "And From 2013 To 2014, [Landrieu's] Presence Was Undetectable At 22 Of 47 Sessions." (Lisa Lerer and Annie Linskey, "Louisiana's Landrieu Silent At Almost 70% Of Energy Hearings," Bloomberg, 11/18/14)

"Some Of Those Hearings Covered Important Issues For Her Coastal State…" "Some of those hearings covered important issues for her coastal state, including the potential for oil spills, gas prices, the Department of Energy's budget, nominations of key energy regulators, the implementation of the stimulus bill, and the current status of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve." (Lisa Lerer and Annie Linskey, "Louisiana's Landrieu Silent At Almost 70% Of Energy Hearings," Bloomberg, 11/18/14)

AND EVEN HER FELLOW DEMOCRATS ARE ADMITTING THAT HER CURRENT KEYSTONE PUSH IS JUST "THEATER"

Some Senate Democrats Are Saying That Landrieu's Keystone Vote Is A "Lost Cause" And "Won't Make A Difference In Her Race." "But some Senate Democrats say the vote is a lost cause - Keystone won't make a difference in her race, they say and the timing is terrible. Even some red-state Democrats who lost re-election say they don't think a Keystone vote earlier this year would have helped them." (Kate Nocera & Evan McMorris-Santoro, "Senate Democrats On Keystone Vote: Why Are We Doing This Now?" BuzzFeed, 11/18/14)

  • One Senate Democrat Even Said That The Vote Is "A Lot Of Theater For Something I Don't Think Is Really Going To Make A Big Difference In Her Campaign." "'I like Mary a lot,' said one Democratic senator voting against the bill. 'I don't think this is going to help her, though, and it's a lot of theater for something I don't think is really going to make a big difference in her campaign.'" (Kate Nocera & Evan McMorris-Santoro, "Senate Democrats On Keystone Vote: Why Are We Doing This Now?" BuzzFeed, 11/18/14)

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