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Keystone XL bill passed by Senate panel

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed legislation mandating construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Wednesday in possibly the last Senate action on the Canada-to-Texas project before the November midterm election.

The measure secured a 12-10 vote, with two Democrats -- chairwoman Mary Landrieu, of Louisiana, and Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia -- joining Republicans to approve the bill. Notably, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., facing competition from Keystone XL supporter GOP Rep. Cory Gardner for his Senate seat, voted against the bill.

The bill, however, is unlikely to reach the floor; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said as much Tuesday.

Instead, the vote devolved into accusations of politicking about the pipeline, which has been in federal administrative limbo for nearly six years.

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