A key vote to move forward the legislation for Keystone XL oil pipeline fell short on a vote of 53-39 on Monday in the U.S. Senate.

The vote was aimed at cutting the debate on legislation to approve the controversial pipeline project but was short of the required 60 votes after Senate Democrats, angry with Republicans for their blocking the debate on a number of amendments by the Democrats last week, blocked Monday’s measure.

Last Thursday the majority made the decision, they would not allow debate, said Ed Markey a Democrat on the Senate floor prior to the vote, which echoed the complaint that many Democrats had expressed Monday after the chamber reconvened to debate it.

Senator Barbara Boxer a Democrat from California said Republicans in the Senate instigated the gag-a-thon.

Senator Tom Carper a Democrat from Delaware said he had voted against ending the debate due to the failure of a majority to follow through on an open amendment process. His statement was aimed at Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority Leader.

Shortly prior to midnight Thursday, McConnell filed a motion in the Senate to invoke cloture and to limit debate about the bill, which set up a vote this week.

Ahead of that vote, McConnell said he hoped the Democrats would not vote to block the jobs Keystone would bring just because the Senate is controlled by a different party.

Democratic opposition now brings up the question of the timing of the last vote, which might not come until sometime next week.

Tensions that have brewed between the two parties during the debate on Keystone could be just a glimpse of what will come during the new Congress.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York who is a Democrat told news reporters on Capitol Hill that the Democrats would move forward on this bill if it were assured by McConnell that it has an open amendment process.

Another attempt to advance legislation that is pro-KXL failed 53-39 following the original vote.

Debate over the bill for Keystone has been on the Senate floor since the start of January.

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