Fischer says the push by Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, to have the lame-duck Congress take up Keystone legislation is merely an effort to help her beleaguered re-election hopes.
“We’ve seen the Democratic Senatorial (Campaign) Committee pull out money from Louisiana. They know that Republicans have the majority; have more than 51 for the majority, so Louisiana’s not in play,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
Fischer, a Republican, says some Democrats want Congress to take up the measure now as a way to help Landrieu save her seat. She is in a run-off election with Republican Bill Cassidy.
Democratic leaders in the Senate have indicated they might take up the measure next week.
The House could also move on Keystone legislation.
“I don’t like the idea that you bring up things for political reasons,” Fischer says. “It would be great to have a vote on the Keystone pipeline now, but we have a lot of other things to do, like I said. So, I expect it will be probably one of the first things we bring up in January.”
The bill under consideration would ask Congress to approve the pipeline and force President Barack Obama to make a decision. Obama has postponed any decision on a presidential permit for TransCanada to cross the Canadian border build Keystone, basing the latest postponement on the fact that the law authorizing the pipeline route through Nebraska is under appeal to the state Supreme Court.