Veto No. 3? Senate Passes Keystone

Obama has said he won't sign, and Senate is short of override threshold
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2015 4:03 PM CST
Veto No. 3? Senate Passes Keystone
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, flanked by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., sponsor of the Keystone XL pipeline bill, left, and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

It looks like President Obama will be dusting off his "veto pen" for just the third time in his presidency: The Senate today voted to build the Keystone oil pipeline by a vote of 62-36, reports the Hill. And while nine Democrats joined Republicans in favor of the bill, the total of 62 falls short of the two-thirds majority that would be necessary to override the president's promised veto. Before it hits Obama's desk, however, the bill has to be reconciled with one that passed the House. The Wall Street Journal predicts that will happen within a week.

The White House today reiterated that Obama will not sign the measure as long as a State Department review of the pipeline remains in progress. That might be finished this month, reports Politico, which sums up the state of Keystone like this: "Despite the intensity of the debate in Congress, Keystone is still largely where it began: a symbol to Republicans of the White House’s hostility to fossil fuels, and to Democrats as another effort by GOP to do the bidding of Big Oil." (More TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline stories.)

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