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As part of the on-going Budget debate in the Senate that will take place for the rest of tonight and probably into the early hours of the morning, the Senate has voted on a large number of amendments which are mostly symbolic. They are symbolic because the Senate budget (if and when it is approved) will never be reconciled with the Ryan budget that came from the House of Representatives because the two budgets are so far apart and there is little will to compromise on the part of the House Republicans.

As part of the process, Senator John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) offered an amendment to the Budget Resolution to:

establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The amendment passed 62-37 (with Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) not voting due to illness). All Republicans voted yes. 16 Democrats voted yes as well. They were: Max Baucus (MT), Mark Begich (AK), Micahel Bennett (CO), Joe Donnelly (IN), Tom Carper (DE), Bob Casey (PA), Chris Coons (DE), Kay Hagan (NC), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Bill Nelson (FL), Mark Pryor (AR), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Warner (VA).

Senate Roll Call Vote

Hoeven's amendment was basically a "Sense of the Senate" and it won't ever be signed into law. But it shows significant support within the US Senate for construction of the Keystone Pipeline, especially among conservative Democrats. Republicans will clearly continue to use the Keystone Pipeline as a wedge issue.

Earlier Senator Barbara Boxer offered an amendment in opposition to the Keystone Pipeline that would've required further study of the pipeline, specifically where the oil would go and what country would benefit the most from the pipeline. But her amendment was rejected with only 33 senators voting in favor.  


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