The House and Senate are set to consider dueling measures that aim to advance the long-delayed
In a move designed to boost her uphill fight for a fourth term, Democrat
As Landrieu and her Senate allies spoke in support of the effort, House leaders abruptly announced that they would vote on -- and probably pass -- a separate bill Thursday to approve the pipeline. The cosponsor of their bill? Rep.
Previous attempts to force a Senate vote on the pipeline project have failed amid bitter procedural battles tied to election-year politics. Though Landrieu and other
A vote on the Senate bill is expected Tuesday. A Democratic leadership aide said it was unlikely that anyone in the party would block Landrieu's effort to pass her bill. Green-lighting the Landrieu bill would help boost her campaign argument that, even as the state trends farther right, it benefits from her clout in Washington as the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee.
The Louisiana race is the only unresolved Senate contest of 2014. Landrieu narrowly led Cassidy, 42% to 41%, in the initial vote among a crowded field of candidates last week. Under the rules of the state's unusual voting system, Landrieu and Cassidy will compete head-to-head in the Dec. 6 runoff.
Control of the new Senate is not at stake, with
Landrieu was joined on the floor Wednesday by West Virginia Sen.
"I didn't come here to see my name in lights," Landrieu said. "I came here to create jobs for my state and for this country, and I believe I've done an excellent job in the 18 years I've been here, through very difficult circumstances."
"The good senator from Louisiana has been fighting for [this] since the day I got here," Manchin said. "Her being ... chairman of the Energy Committee has made a difference."
House leaders derided the last-minute effort to boost the endangered Democrat, even as they scrambled to hold another vote on the pipeline project themselves.
"For years, Senate Democrats have stood in the way of all of these bills," House Majority Leader
The effort to revive the Keystone project came as President
The Obama administration announced this spring he was delaying a decision on whether to approve the project, citing a Nebraska state court decision that invalidated part of the pipeline's proposed route.