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Energy efficiency bill fails, sinks Keystone chances

Republicans blocked a cloture vote on a bipartisan energy efficiency measure after a deal to pass it, and the Keystone XL pipeline bill, fell apart.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   May 12, 2014 at 6:51 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- Intransigence from both sides of the Senate aisle may have sunk the chances of a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline coming anytime soon.

A deal to bring up a binding consideration of the pipeline proposal in exchange for passage of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill fell apart last week when Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted on attaching five GOP amendments to the efficiency measure.

Reid refused, accusing Republicans of holding the bill "hostage... still seeking a ransom."

"The Shaheen-Portman bill is a chance for a fresh start for the Senate, really a new beginning," Reid said ahead of the vote. "But the implications of this legislation extend far beyond energy efficiency. It goes to the integrity of this Senate that we care so much about."

A vote on the energy efficiency bill, sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, failed Monday afternoon, 55-36, to reach the 60 votes necessary to end debate and invoke cloture.

Only two Republicans, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine, voted for the measure. All Democrats voted for it, save Reid, who changed his vote to no for procedural reasons after it became clear the bill wouldn't get the necessary 60 votes.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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