Senator Mitch McConnell Threatens To Keep Democrats Working Late

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to break Democratic opposition to the Keystone XL oil pipeline by threatening to keep them at work past midnight. 

“Some of our colleagues on the other side continue to filibuster the motion to proceed to this bill,” he said, according to The Hill. "All senators should know that we will get on this bill today and begin the amendment process — either this afternoon by consent, or shortly after midnight without consent."

McConnell, a Republican who represents Kentucky, said his party would work long hours to wear down Democrats intent on slowing the bill with procedural delays. However, he promised the chance to amend the legislation. 

“We will conduct a fair and open amendment process but not an open-ended one,” he said.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, from Illinois, said Democrats are in the process of discussing which amendments they’ll submit. “There is no question that we will be prepared, too, and offering amendments,” he said. "We are trying to finalize the language at this point and the order that the amendments will be offered."

Durbin insisted Democrats did not plan to obstruct the bill, although President Obama has said he will veto the legislation.

Reuters reported that many environmentalists oppose the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast’s refineries, due to the impact it could have on global warming.

Sources: The Hill, Reuters / Image via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons