I have often said and written that there are two political parties in America, Big Government Party #1 and Big Government Party #2.
There is one party who is honest enough to admit that they are for big, bloated, and largely unconstitutional government. Then, there is another party, whose politicians campaign as conservatives in order to get elected, but once elected, vote precisely like the Democrats they promised to oppose.
Below are the 27 RINOs in the U.S. Senate who voted to blow the lid off the debt (Marco Rubio did NOT vote), funding illegal and unconstitutionally sanctuary cities, funding Obama’s illegal amnesty and Muslim Syrian invasion, funding Obamacare, funding Planned Butcherhood.
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a constitutional conservative, made the following statement after the bloated bill, a bill Rush Limbaugh called a “Democrat wet dream.”
“What we’ve seen in Congress today is profoundly disappointing. This spending bill does not honor the promises we made to the men and women who elected us. It funds Obamacare. It funds Planned Parenthood. It funds executive amnesty. It fails to protect our national security and stop Syrian refugees from coming to this country. It fails to do anything to stop the Iranian Nuclear Deal. And what does it do? It jacks up yet more low-skilled immigration, which will only drag down wages, kill American jobs, and hurt working men and women.
“This bill is the big-government agenda of Democrats that effectively forfeits our massive Republican victories of 2014 and cements Obama’s priorities for nearly the full remainder of his term. This is the Washington Cartel in action, and it’s precisely why the American people from coast-to-coast are so volcanically frustrated.”
Here are the 27 RINO traitors who voted for the 2009-page, $1.1 trillion Ryan-Obama Omnibus spending bill, furthering the elimination of the congressional power of the purse, effectively giving that power, willingly, to wannabe dictator Barack Obama.
NOTE: For your viewing pleasure and convenience, we have placed an asterisk (*) next to those “Republican” senators who are facing re-election in 2016.
Lamar Alexander (RINO-TN)
Kelly Ayotte* (RINO-NH)
John Barrasso (RINO-WY)
Roy Blunt* (RINO-MO)
Shelley Moore Capito (RINO-WV)
Dan Coats (RINO-IN) retiring in 2016
Thad Cochran (RINO-MS)
Susan Collins (RINO-ME)
Bob Corker (RINO-TN)
John Cornyn (RINO-TX
Cory Gardner (RINO-CO)
Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC)
Orrin Hatch (RINO-UT)
Dean Heller (RINO-NV)
John Hoeven* (RINO-ND)
Jim Inhofe (RINO-OK)
Johnny Isakson* (RINO-GA)
Ron Johnson* (RINO-WI)
Mark Kirk* (RINO-IL)
James Lankford* (RINO-OK)
Mitch McConnell (RINO-KY) *Senate Majority Leader*
Lisa Murkowski* (RINO-AK)
Jack Perdue (RINO-GA)
Pat Roberts (RINO-KS)
Mike Rounds (RINO-SD)
Thom Tillis (RINO-NC)
Roger Wicker (RINO-MS)
So “Obama’s Mitch” McConnell and his cabal of establishment RINO traitors joined with the likes of Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer in supporting the Omnibus.
Speaking of Chuck Schumer (COMMIE-NY), he glowed and gloated in amazement at being a member of the minority party and being able to accomplish so much destruction, exactly the same as if Democrats were still in the majority:
“If you have told me – this year – that we’d be standing here, celebrating the passage of an Omnibus bill, with no poison pill riders, at higher levels above sequester than even the president requested, I wouldn’t have believed it.
But here we are. This bill is a great victory for the principles Democrats stand for.”
As sad as it sounds, Schumer is right. The results we are seeing in the U.S. House and Senate are exactly the same – maybe even worse – than if Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were still in charge.
NOTE: Here are the RINO douchebags who voted for this putrid bill in the House.
A “staggering betrayal” is how one pro-Israel activist in Washington describes any use by the Democrats of a filibuster to prevent the Iran deal from getting a full vote next month in the Senate.
That is emerging as the goal of the backers of President Obama’s contract with the mullahs. They want to block the measure from getting a vote in the Senate at all, which would leave Obama with a free hand to release billions to the Tehran regime.
The activist, Omri Ceren, who is The Israel Project’s managing director and has been working the story for months, says that would be a “stab in the face.” He notes that “Americans by a 2-1 margin want Congress to reject the bad Iran deal.”
The pro-Israel community, he says, has “worked in a bipartisan fashion with Congress to give the president breathing room for negotiations while protecting legislative prerogatives.” He thinks the Senate Democrats therefore owe Americans an up-or-down vote.
As this drama drags on, however, it’s not all that clear that we’ll see that vote. For it to take place, 60 senators must agree to cloture. At the moment, the Washington Post counts only 57 senators against or leaning against the deal.
This could change, of course. Only 33 senators are for or leaning for the deal. That leaves 10 undecided. If it does go to a vote, and the Senate votes to reject the pact, the president could veto it. At that point, even more votes against the deal would be needed to override. So it’s none too soon to think about what happens after.
One possibility is a round of recriminations among supporters of the Jewish state. Did Prime Minister Netanyahu misplay his hand? Did the American Israel Public Affairs Committee blunder by announcing a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign?
Already some are complaining that such a boast energized Iran’s supporters. For my part, I wouldn’t waste a New York nanosecond on that kind of handwringing. No opponent of this deal – least of all Israel’s elected leadership – is going to owe anyone an apology.
Moreover, if Obama fails to win a simple majority of either the Senate or the House or both, a startling situation is going to emerge. The administration is going to have to implement a pact that voters couldn’t block but still oppose.
That would be a ghastly situation for the Democrats – worse even than what happened after SALT II, the arms pact President Carter inked at Vienna with the Soviet party boss, Leonid Brezhnev, whom the American president kissed at the signing.
Mr. Carter ended up withdrawing the treaty from consideration in the Senate, where it stood no chance of ratification. SALT II was one of the reasons Mr. Carter lost the next election to Ronald Reagan (who honored the treaty only until the Kremlin violated it).
The Iran accord is different from SALT II, in that the Iran pact is not being submitted as a treaty. The whole constitutional setup, which is supposed to put the burden of proof on the president submitting the treaty, has been turned on its head.
In this deal, not only the Senate but the House must muster the votes to block the deal or it goes through automatically. If a resolution of disapproval is then vetoed by Obama, the deal still goes through.
But if Obama is left with a deal that is opposed by a majority of either the Senate or the House, the Democrats will be stuck with it. They will then be on the defensive with every hostile move Iran makes with the $150 billion the mullahs are going to get.
No doubt they’re going to try to skate through it. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has reported an amazing lack of reaction by the Obama administration and others to rocket attacks from Syria that last week struck northern Israel and that were initiated by Iran.
Those rockets are but a wake-up call to what lies ahead, just in time for a presidential election. That’s the next big fight if this deal goes through, defeating the candidate of the Democratic Party that appeased Iran. Staggering betrayal, indeed.
Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives certified that they had only 45 employees each in order to sign up for the District of Columbia’s Small Business Exchange. But 12,359 – or 86 percent of the exchange’s enrollees – are members of Congress, congressional staff members, and their spouses and dependents, according to an appeal filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals by Judicial Watch.
The public interest law firm announced Monday that it is appealing the February dismissal of its lawsuit challenging congressional participation in the Obamacare exchange even though the D.C. Exchange Act limits enrollment to small companies with 50 or fewer employees.
“Congress obviously has far more than 50 employees,” Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha pointed out in his opening brief. “It has thousands of employees.”
Congress enrolled in the small business exchange when its previous coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan was terminated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and congressional employees stood to lose thousands of dollars in “employer contributions” if they enrolled in the District’s individual exchange.
According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives both certified that they “employ 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees.”
In October 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule that provides an “employer contribution” covering about three-quarters of the premiums of congressional employees enrolled in the small business exchange starting Jan. 1, 2014.
The OPM rule “allowed at least 12,359 congressional employees and their spouses and dependents to obtain health insurance through the Small Business Exchange… These 12,359 participants represent an astonishing 86% of the Small Business Exchange’s total enrollment,” the appeal states.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit last October on behalf of Kirby Vining, a D.C. resident since 1986, who objected to the expenditure of municipal funds to insure congressional employees in an exchange that was established specifically for small employers in the District.
“Congress authored the law [ACA], and is going to rather questionable lengths to avoid compliance with the law it drafted,” Vining said.
Although the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority conceded that D.C. law limits participation in the exchange to small employers, it argued in court that “the local statute must yield to the extent the federal statute or regulation applies.”
In its motion to dismiss the case, the authority also stated that the exchange “has been funded exclusively by federal grants awarded to the District to establish its Exchange, and more recently, an assessment imposed on health carriers doing business in the District.”
In dismissing the lawsuit, D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon ruled that Vining had no standing to challenge the OPM rule because he “has not demonstrated a reasonable inference that municipal taxpayer funds have been appropriated to defendant exchange authority to establish a cognizable injury to maintain standing to bring his underlying complaint.”
However, in a budget report submitted to Congress, the Exchange Authority’s actual budget for Fiscal Year 2013 ($10.9 million) and FY 2014 ($66.1 million) was identified as ” ‘municipal monies’ as originating from the District’s General Fund. No monies are identified as Federal Funds, Private Revenue, or Intra-District Funds,” according to the appeal.
“In Fiscal Year 2015, the Exchange Authority’s budget was reclassified from the General Fund to a newly created fund, separate and distinct from ‘Federal Funds’,” it continued.
Dixon also ruled that the OPM rule preempts the D.C. Exchange Act, noting that “allowing members of Congress and their staff to participate in the District’s small business health options program is authorized by federal regulations.”
But Judicial Watch argues in its appeal that the D.C. law cannot be preempted because it is “completely consistent and entirely compatible” with the federal law and in fact its “sole purpose is to implement various provisions of ACA.”
“In reality, the court ruled that a determination by a federal bureaucrat – in this instance, the director of OPM – trumps the 50-employee limit of the Exchange Act, at least with respect to Congress,” the group’s appeal brief stated. “No lawful regulation – much less a regulation that purports to delegate such authority to an agency head – can do that, and the Court cites no legal authority whatsoever for their astonishing conclusion that it can.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that allowing Congress to enroll in an exchange meant for small businesses is both “unlawful and unethical.”
“It is an abuse of District taxpayers to use D.C. funds to subsidize illegal health insurance for Congress,” Fitton said in a statement. “It is unlawful and unethical for District officials to use local dollars to participate in Congress’s Obamacare fraud.
“The highest court in the District of Columbia must affirm the right of District taxpayers to protect their monies from being misappropriated by corrupt District officials.”
Democrats today blocked a bill to defund the Planned Parenthood baby organ harvesting industry today.
The Senate voted 53-46 on the cluture motion failing to get the 60 needed to move the bill forward.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell led the effort to keep Planned Parenthood funding by blocking an amendment to the Highway Bill by Mike Lee to defund the abortion harvesting group.
The move by McConnell made it necessary for conservatives to get 60 votes today for their bill.
They could only muster 53 votes.
Life News reported:
Senate Democrats today defeated an effort to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business by filibustering the bill and preventing a vote on it. Republicans were unable to secure the 60 voted needed to invoke cloture and stop debate on the bill, allowing an up or down vote.
The legislation follows four shocking videos that have caught Planned Parenthood doctors discussing and arranging the sale of body parts of aborted babies.
The Senate voted 53-46 on the cloture motion – failing to get the 60 votes needed to stop the Democratic filibuster against the de-funding measure. had the cloture vote been approved and the bill passed, and should the House pass its own bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, President Barack Obama said he would veto the measure.
With the Senate voting against de-funding, attention now turns to attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood via the budget process. Already, 18 House Republicans have said they will not allow passage of any essential bills to fund the federal government if such bills do not include language de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Attention will also now turn to Congressional and state efforts to investigate Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies and state-level efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood further.
Subcommittee On Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights And Federal Courts
Chairman: Ted Cruz
Witnesses: John Koskinen, Cleta Mitchell, Stephen Spaulding, Edward D. Greim, Lawrence Noble, Toby Marie Walker, Diana Aviv, Jenny Beth Martin, Gregory L. Colvin, Jay Sekulow
Senior Senate Republicans lined up on Sunday to rebuke Texas senator Ted Cruz for attacking majority leader Mitch McConnell, in an extraordinary display of intra-party division played out live on the Senate floor.
As the Senate met for a rare Sunday session, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas each rose to counter a stunning floor speech Cruz gave on Friday in which he accused McConnell, of Kentucky, of lying.
None of them mentioned Cruz by name but the target of their remarks could not have been clearer.
“Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues and perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate,” said Hatch, the Senate’s president pro tempore. Cruz is running for president.
“The Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them,” Hatch continued, “ …and impugn their character in blatant disregard for Senate rules.
“Such misuses of the Senate floor must not be tolerated.”
After Hatch spoke, Cruz rose to defend himself for making the accusation that McConnell had lied when he denied striking a deal to allow a vote to revive the federal Export-Import Bank.
He said he agreed with Hatch’s calls for civility but declared: “Speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility.”
Around 20 senators of both parties were on the floor to watch some of the speeches. Cruz’s floor speech on Friday had brought nearly unheard-of drama and discord to the chamber.
The responses to it were just as remarkable, as senior Republicans united to defend an institution they revere and take down a junior colleague of their own party who has gone from being an occasional nuisance to being a threat to the Senate’s very ability to function with order.
McConnell said that given support for the Export-Import Bank, no “special deal” was needed to bring it to a vote.
The little-known bank is a federal agency that helps foreign customers to buy US goods. Conservatives oppose it as corporate welfare and are trying to end it.
The Senate was meeting on Sunday to vote on the bank as well as on a repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. Both were amendments to a must-pass highway bill that the Senate is trying to complete ahead of a 31 July deadline.
If Congress does not act by then, states will lose money for highway and transit projects in the middle of the summer construction season.
On Sunday, by a vote of 67-26, the Senate limited debate on a measure that would reauthorize the bank until September 2019.
Ted Cruz Rebuts Bitch Supporters
Under the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, that nation’s theocratic regime receives relief from economic and arms sanctions in exchange for curtailment of its nuclear program. But there’s a catch – when inspectors seek to verify Iran’s compliance, the Iranians can delay the inspection of any site for at least 24 days.
But before the deal was struck, the Obama administration had promised much more — “anytime, anywhere” inspections, on demand. When asked about this on Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry displayed symptoms of amnesia.
“This is a term that, honestly, I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating,” Kerry said. “It was not on the table. There’s no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere.”
Barring a genuine brain malady, there is no gentle way of skirting around the fact that this is a lie. The White House specifically promised this in public. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser and spokesman, in making the case for the Iran deal in April, told CNN, “Under this deal, you will have anywhere, anytime, 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”
Beyond this, Kerry appears to have specifically discussed it as a negotiating point with senior lawmakers. After speaking with Kerry, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., mentioned “anytime, anywhere” in a speech this spring to Jewish groups uneasy about the deal. And Kerry seems to have told the same thing to the Republican chairmen of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, according to their recollection.
Unfortunately, Kerry’s difficulty in telling the truth extends well beyond the issue of inspections. For example, consider the far more dangerous and controversial provision in the deal that lifts the existing sanctions against Iran’s acquisition of conventional arms and ballistic missiles. Kerry said in the same Sunday interview that the deal extended those sanctions by five and eight years, respectively. On Tuesday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the same thing explicitly – that the sanctions would have ended if not for the deal.
In fact, the U.N. sanctions needed no extension – they would have remained in place without further action until Iran stopped enrichment of uranium altogether. The deal that Kerry negotiated is what actually lifts the sanctions. And this concession is troubling by itself — after all, even if Iran can argue that its nuclear program has peaceful applications, it cannot say this of its ambition to develop its ballistic missile technology.
But it is even more troubling that Kerry and the Obama administration cannot just admit they traded this concession to get a deal. Instead, they are pretending that their dodgy concession is some kind of diplomatic victory for the United States.
In his weekly radio address, President Obama warned Americans, concerning the debate over the Iran deal, “you’re going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the weeks ahead.” He was right. Only the dishonest arguments are coming from his own administration, which is desperately trying to defend dangerous concessions that will pave the way for a radical regime to finance terrorism and build a nuclear arsenal.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will not be seeking re-election in 2016.
The former majority leader, who has been a top target for Republican ire, released a video message Friday citing his New Year’s Day exercise injuries, saying they provided him “down time.”
“I have had time to ponder and to think,” he explained. “We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than us. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election.”
While the powerful Nevada Democrat said the accident gave him time to think, he stressed that the decision was not due to the injury.
“The decision that I’ve made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, it has nothing to do with my being minority leader and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected because the path to re-election is much easier than probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election,” he said.
Reid’s departure from the Senate in 22 months will end a three decade tenure in the Senate. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Before that, he served two terms in the House of Representatives.
His announcement comes the same week a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report criticized Deputy DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over providing immigration benefits for the politically connected. The report named named Reid as a beneficiary of Mayorkas’ influence.
Following the announcement Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee offered an early victory dance, arguing that Reid was set to lose his re-election after losing the majority last cycle.
“Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate,” NRSC executive director Ward Baker said.
He added that the Nevada race is now a hot ticket for Republicans.
“With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”
Meanwhile Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) praised Reid’s tenure and signaled Democrats would put up a fight in Nevada.
“There is a talented pool of Nevada Democrats who are ready to step up to the plate, and we will recruit a top-notch candidate in Nevada who will be successful in holding this seat in 2016,” he said.
With tax payer dollars, no less.
Via Fox News:
A powerful U.S. Senate investigatory committee has launched a bipartisan probe into an American nonprofit’s funding of efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Obama administration’s State Department gave the nonprofit taxpayer-funded grants, a source with knowledge of the panel’s activities told FoxNews.com.
The fact that both Democrat and Republican sides of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have signed off on the probe could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who has had a well-documented adversarial relationship with the Israeli leader.
The development comes as Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television station this week that there were “governments” that wanted to help with the “Just Not Bibi” campaigning – Bibi being the Israeli leader’s nickname.
It also follows a FoxNews.com report on claims the Obama administration has been meddling in the Israeli election on behalf of groups hostile to Netanyahu. A spokesperson for Sen. Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), the chair of the committee, refused comment, and aides to ranking Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, did not immediately return calls.
The Wisconsin Senate passed legislation late Wednesday to limit union powers amid a second day of protests as the state capitol again became a battleground over the future of organized labor.
The GOP-controlled Senate passed a “right-to-work” bill with a 17-15 vote that would allow employees in unionized private-sector workplaces to opt out of paying union dues. Republicans also control the state Assembly, making passage likely during the next week, and Gov. Scott Walker – who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 – has said he would sign such a measure into law.
Immediately after passage, the spectator gallery erupted in boos and chants of “shame, shame!” as the Senate ended its day.
Debate on the bill began Wednesday afternoon in the Senate as about 2,000 protesters jostled and chanted on the steps of the capitol and in the rotunda.
The measure comes four years after Mr. Walker pushed through legislation limiting the reach of public-sector unions, drawing tens of thousands to protest in the capitol and launching a contentious recall election, which the governor won.
Minutes after debate began, a spectator in the gallery stood up, and started yelling before being escorted from the chamber by a police officer. “This is an attack on Democracy!” he shouted.
A few minutes later, another audience member did much the same, before the gallery calmed down and debate continued. Spectators interrupted the session regularly, with the Senate president punctuating the outbursts by banging her gavel and summoning police to escort offenders from the chamber.
At the end of the night, her gavel fell apart in her hand mid-bang.
Although no arrests were made in the Senate, officers took four people into custody during protests in the rotunda, according to capitol police.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the majority leader, said the bill would create a more competitive state economy and give workers more individual freedom to choose union membership, adding that the bill doesn’t prohibit collective bargaining between unions and employers.
“This legislation will ensure that Wisconsin’s workers have the sole power to determine whether they wish to belong to or support a labor organization,” he said in a statement following the vote.
“Right-to-work: it does impact the economy, except in the wrong direction,” said Democrat Senator Lena Taylor during the debate. “It will have an impact on so many things we aren’t even aware of because we’re rushing it through.”
Since his re-election last year, Mr. Walker has shown little interest in expanding union curbs to the private sector, but in recent days he reiterated his support of a right-to-work bill after state lawmakers took the lead.
The legislation still faces opposition from unions and Democratic lawmakers, who argue it is meant to undermine organized labor and won’t deliver the economic benefits backers promise. They also have accused Republican leaders of fast-tracking the legislation to stifle debate.
“It’s bad for the working men and women of this state, both union and nonunion,” said Sen. Dave Hansen, a Democrat, after the vote. “It’s ridiculous.”
But Myranda Tanck, spokeswoman for Mr. Fitzgerald, dismissed the argument, saying the idea isn’t new and possible legislation has been discussed in the state since the 1990s.
Still, the timing appears to have caught some opponents off guard, with labor leaders so far unable to muster the large crowds seen in 2011.
Senate Democrats presented more than a half-dozen amendments which were all defeated before the final vote Wednesday night. Assembly leaders have said they would take up the legislation next week following Senate action.
Twenty-four states have “right-to-work” laws, yet only three have passed such legislation in the past decade: Oklahoma, Michigan and Indiana. That could change in the coming months as several other states debate such bills.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but supporters of the project vowed to push ahead and eventually get a vote on the measure.
The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53 to 39 on the measure.
The Keystone bill allows Congress to approve TransCanada Corp’s project to link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Democrats, who lost control of the Senate as a result of November’s elections, flexed their muscles to deliver a message to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will have to deal with them even on bills that enjoy some bipartisan support.
McConnell has pledged that amendments to bills will be debated in an open process. But Democrats said McConnell cut off debate last Thursday on several amendments.
“He’s got to work with us and not try to jam us,” Senator Chuck Schumer said of McConnell. Democrats are not trying to delay the bill, but they don’t want McConnell to shut down the open process at his whim, said Schumer, the Senate’s third ranking Democrat.
Republicans have made passing the Keystone bill the first priority of the new Senate.
But the White House has said President Barack Obama would reject the bill, and Keystone supporters are four votes short of the 67 needed to overcome any veto.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the chairman of the energy committee, vowed to work with Democrats on her panel to consider additional amendments.
The Associated Press called the Alaska Senate race early Wednesday for Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.
The decision came in the early morning hours on the East Coast, after election workers counted about 20,000 absentee ballots. An unknown number of ballots remain, but Sullivan’s lead of some 8,100 votes was little changed after that significant chunk of votes was counted, the AP stated.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to serve my fellow Alaskans in the United States Senate,” Sullivan said in a statement. “Our campaign was about opportunity — because I truly believe that there is nothing that is wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right with Alaska.”
The AP reported that Begich is not conceding, as thousands of ballots are uncounted.
The victory means Republicans have picked up eight Senate seats. A win in Louisiana, which will hold a runoff on Dec. 6, would give Republicans 54 seats in the new Congress.
Riding a powerful wave of voter discontent, resurgent Republicans captured control of the Senate and tightened their grip on the House Tuesday night in elections certain to complicate President Barack Obama’s final two years in office.
The Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, dispatched Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky after a $78 million campaign of unrelieved negativity. Voters are “hungry for new leadership. They want a reason to be hopeful,” said the man now in line to become majority leader and set the Senate agenda.
Two-term incumbent Mark Pryor of Arkansas was the first Democrat to fall, defeated by freshman Rep. Tom Cotton. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado was next, defeated by Rep. Cory Gardner. Sen. Kay Hagan also lost, in North Carolina, to Thom Tilllis, the speaker of the state House.
Republicans also picked up seats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, where Democrats retired. They needed a net gain of six seats in all to end a Democratic majority in place since 2006.
With dozens of House races uncalled, Republicans had picked up nine seats in Democratic hands, and given up only one.
Obama was at the White House as voters remade Congress for the final two years of his tenure. With lawmakers set to convene next week for a postelection session, he invited the leadership to a meeting on Friday.
A shift in control of the Senate would likely result in a strong GOP assault on budget deficits, additional pressure on Democrats to accept sweeping changes to the health care law that stands as Obama’s signal domestic accomplishment and a bid to reduce federal regulations.
There were 36 gubernatorial elections on the ballot, and several incumbents struggled against challengers. Tom Wolf captured the Pennsylvania statehouse for the Democrats, defeating Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
In a footnote to one of the year’s biggest political surprises, college professor Dave Brat was elected to the House from Virginia, several months after he defeated Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary.
House Republicans defeated 19-term Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall in West Virginia, beat Rep. John Barrow in Georgia and picked up a seat vacated by a lawmaker in North Carolina.
Speaker John Boehner of Ohio had little opposition in coasting to a 13th term and is likely to retain his top leadership post.
After years of a sluggish economic recovery and foreign crises aplenty, the voters’ mood was sour.
Nearly two-thirds of voters interviewed after casting ballots said the country was seriously on the wrong track. Only about 30 percent said it was generally going in the right direction.
More than four in ten voters disapproved of both Obama and Congress, according to the exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks.
Still, a majority of those polled supported several positions associated with Democrats or Obama rather than Republicans – saying immigrants in the country illegally should be able to work, backing U.S. military involvement against Islamic State fighters, and agreeing that climate change is a serious problem.
No matter which party emerged with control of the Senate, a new chapter in divided government was inevitable in a nation marked by profound unease over the future and dissatisfaction with its political leaders.
Several Senate races were close, a list that – surprisingly – included Virginia.
There, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner held a narrow lead over former Republican Party chairman and Bush administration official Ed Gillespie.
There was a little good news for Democrats in New Hampshire, where Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was re-elected after a difficult race against former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.
But in Georgia, Michelle Nunn lost to businessman David Perdue, depriving the Democrats of their last best chance to take away a Republican seat. In Kansas, 78-year-old Sen. Pat Roberts fended off a challenge from independent Greg Orman, shutting off another avenue for the Democrats – their last.
Competitive races were yet uncalled in Iowa and Alaska.
There were 36 Senate races on the ballot, although most of the attention went to fewer than a dozen. They drew hundreds of millions of dollars in attack ads in a campaign season estimated to cost more than $4 billion – just for the races for Congress.
In statehouse races, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York won a second term.
Former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson was elected governor of Arkansas more than a decade after playing a prominent role in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and trial, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott won a tough race for a new term.
Also winning new terms were Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican and potential presidential candidates in 2016.
Another possible White House hopeful, Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, led his rival, Mary Burke.
Not even Democrats claimed a chance to topple the Republican House majority. They spent the campaign’s final days dispatching money to districts where incumbents suddenly found themselves in danger.
Republicans sought to downplay any expectation of large gains. A pickup of 13 would give them more seats in the House than at any time since 1946.
The elections’ $4 billion price tag spending was unprecedented for a non-presidential year