Senate Democrats on Tuesday rejected legislation that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline, in a vote that will likely be the last victory on this issue for Senate Democrats before Republicans take over the Senate next year.

The vote was arranged in a last-minute attempt by Democrats to create a positive story for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who supports the pipeline and faces a runoff election in early December. Even with the vote, she’s expected to lose that race.

While Democratic leaders agreed to help Landrieu by allowing a vote, they made it very difficult for the bill to pass — they insisted on 60 “yes” votes instead of just a simple majority.

The Senate fell just short of that threshold, as the final tally was 59-41.

Passage required fifteen Democrats and Independents to support the bill, along with all 45 Republicans. But in the end, only 14 Democrats voted “yes” — they were Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jon Tester (Mont.), John Walsh (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.).

Continue reading →