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Senate Republicans are again set to challenge President Obama's contentious decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.


Keystone pipeline revival tucked in Senate vote this week

Senate Republicans are again set to challenge President Obama’s contentious decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.

Senate Republicans this week will challenge for the second time in a matter of days President Barack Obama’s contentious decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline by tying the project to a popular tax break for working families.

The amendment authored by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) extends the college tuition deduction that ended Dec. 31, and includes the language to approve the pipeline. It is similar to a measure Republicans failed to pass last week by four votes.

Roberts said his legislation, set for a vote as early as Tuesday, includes relief for small businesses to boost the economy, making it a tough bill for Democrats to oppose.

“This is a benefit for middle-income families, a lot of these folks aren’t low-income so their kids don’t qualify for PELL grants, but they’re not high-income either,” Roberts said during a floor speech last week. “A lot of these folks are paying significant federal, state and local taxes and they get no help in defraying the high cost of their kids’ college education.”

Addressing the Keystone language, Roberts added: “we are all painfully aware of the president’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline application. My amendment gives our Canadian neighbors the green light to send energy our way,” Roberts said.

The Senate failed Thursday to overturn the White House’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline due in part to a last-minute lobbying effort by Obama.

Obama’s efforts to head off defiance of his order through phone calls to Democratic lawmakers resulted in 56 yeas and 42 nays, short of the 60-vote threshold.

“The Democrat-controlled Senate just turned its back on job creation and energy independence in a single vote by rejecting the bipartisan Hoeven-Lugar amendment,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement after last week’s vote.

“President Obama’s personal pleas to wavering Senators may have tipped the balance against this legislation. When it comes to delays over Keystone, anyone looking for a culprit should now look no further than the Oval Office,” McConnell said.

The Roberts amendment to the highway bill will be voted on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Eventsâ?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audreyâ??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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