The House voted 252 to 161 on Friday to approve a bill that would direct the federal government to move forward on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ahead of a vote scheduled for Tuesday in the Senate that could send the measure to President Obama’s desk.
There is little chance that the votes will clear the way to construction of the long-fought, long-delayed pipeline, which would carry petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. In the Senate, where Democrats have a majority until the Republicans take over in January, it is unlikely, though not impossible, that the bill would attract 60 votes, enough to avoid a filibuster. But even if the bill does clear the Senate, Mr. Obama has signaled that he would probably veto it.
The House and Senate votes are chiefly intended to be political maneuvers by Republican and Democratic leaders in the drawn-out battle for a Louisiana Senate seat. The incumbent, Senator Mary L. Landrieu, a Democrat, faces a runoff on Dec. 6 against Representative Bill Cassidy, a Republican…more