President Obama is set to use his veto pen in order to stop the Keystone XL bill if Congress passes a measure in support of the oil pipeline, White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
Newly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline project as the first of the new Congress. The bill has some bipartisan support, but environmentalists and progressives have heavily lobbied the White House to oppose the pipeline.
Keystone XL pipeline debate: What do I need to know?
The pipeline is currently in a final phase of review from the State Department.
Earnest added that the White House reviewed the text of the bill to authorize the pipeline on Monday….
A bill to authorize the pipeline failed in the last weeks of the Democratic-led Senate last year, but a new Republican majority ensured the vote could reach a 60-vote filibuster proof majority. Supporters of the pipeline would need to whip 67 votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto.
Even with Republicans controlling the Senate and the House, President Obama can, and apparently will, put a stop to it.
Obama said in an interview with NPR last month that he’s dusting off the veto pen.
“There are going to be some areas where we disagree and, you know, I haven’t used the veto pen very often since I’ve been in office,” Obama said. “Now I suspect there are going to be some times where I’ve got to pull that pen out.”
The State Department estimates that the pipeline would only create 35 full-time jobs, and 15 temporary contractors, while pushing a pipeline through the heart of America. As Politifact notes,Keystone isn’t the massive jobs generator that some make it out to be.
The Keystone Pipeline bill was one of the reasons Mary Landrieu lost her seat.
Meanwhile, it would be interesting to scrutinize what donations political cheerleaders for the pipeline have received.
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