Obama's 'First Significant' Veto Holds

GOP-led Senate fails to get the two-thirds majority needed to override veto
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 4, 2015 2:32 PM CST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The GOP-controlled Senate has, as expected, failed to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that would have green-lit the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Proponents of the bill have said since its introduction that they didn't have the vote of two-thirds of the Senate needed to override the veto: Indeed, the final vote was 62 in favor of overriding it, 37 against. As such, the House won't vote on the issue, and a veto that the New York Times calls Obama's "first significant" one (it's the third of his presidency) will hold. And while the AP sees more veto showdowns coming down the pike, the Times suggests today's vote indicates "his future vetoes are likely to withstand similar efforts."

What's next for Keystone: Reuters reports the State Department assessment on the project's potential benefits for the US (an assessment the vetoed bill would have circumvented) is due "in the coming weeks or months," and says Obama will likely make his decision once that's completed. But some Republicans have floated the idea of accelerating things by tacking the Keystone bill to other legislation. As Sen. John Hoeven today put it, "Another option is to attach this legislation to other energy, infrastructure, or appropriations legislation that the president won’t want to veto. The will of the American people and Congress is clear."

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