Washington (CNN)Senators worked till midnight on Thursday moving through a series of amendments to a bill that would green-light construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but Senate Democrats wanted to stay longer.
Keystone debate ends with Democrats' ire
At least, they were frustrated with what they said was a double standard from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who moved to end debate on the bill and set up a final vote next week after tabling a number of Democratic amendments.
The Senate had already voted on 15 amendments, 10 of which were offered by Democrats and another five from Republicans. But Democrats cried foul at the move, with some, like Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, taking to Twitter to express their disgust.
Democrats noted that McConnell had previously threatened to hold Friday votes to get through Keystone work, and suggested that he cut debate short to let Republicans head to a weekend conference for a group affiliated with the Koch brothers.
Adam Jentleson, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman, also unleashed his disapproval on Twitter.
But Republicans dismissed the criticism, arguing that a full week of debate over Keystone was more than enough, and noting that the amount of work done in the Senate on the bill — at least in terms of votes — surpassed what was done over the entire last year.
"The Senate voted on more amendments to the Keystone bill than the total # allowed in all of 2014 combined," tweeted Don Stewart, McConnell's spokesman.
The night's events, however, further strained relations between the two parties headed into what's already likely to be a tense vote on the controversial bill next week.