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President Who Didn’t Turn Down Keystone Working Phones in Effort to Stop Senate Pipeline Amendment; Update: Measure Falls 4 Votes Short

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By Doug Powers  •  March 8, 2012 04:46 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Just a couple of weeks ago, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that it wasn’t President Obama who turned down the Keystone pipeline, and that Obama’s denial was only due to Republicans forcing his hand by playing politics.

Today, Republicans are again forcing Obama’s hand… to pick up the phone and call Senate Dems to convince them to vote down a pipeline amendment that would bypass the White House completely:

President Barack Obama is intervening in a Senate fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and personally lobbying Democrats to reject an amendment calling for its construction, according to several sources familiar with the talks.

The White House lobbying effort, including phone calls from the president to Democrats, signals that the vote could be close when it heads to the floor Thursday. The president is trying to defeat an amendment that would give election-year fodder to his Republican critics who have accused him of blocking a job-creating energy project at a time of high gas prices.

The amendment, proposed by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), states that Obama would have no role in such cross-border permitting decisions since, in this case, the pipeline would originate in Canada. The measure would need 60 votes to pass, and Obama has already lost two Democrats who back the proposal

Just tell the Dems the pipeline’s going to be used to pump algae down to the new Planktonmobile factory in Florida and maybe the president would change his mind.

Update: This evening, the Senate rejected the Keystone measure 56-42, with 60 votes needed for passage.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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