The White House has put Republicans on notice by vowing that the president will veto the Republican backed bill that would authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
According to The Hill,
The White House vowed on Tuesday that President Obama would veto legislation that approves construction of the Keystone XL pipeline if it passes Congress.
“If this bill passes this Congress the president won’t sign it either,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday of the pending Keystone legislation.
The bill is all but guaranteed to pass the Senate, with 60 co-sponsors as of Tuesday morning.
The president has been sending signals for months that he will veto the bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In December 2014, the president said, “So there is no. I won’t say no. There is very little impact, nominal impact on US gas prices, what the average American consumer cares about, by having this pipeline come though. And sometimes the way this gets sold is, let’s get this oil and it’s going to come here, and the implication is that it’s going to lower gas prices here in the United States. It’s not. There’s a global oil market. It’s very good for Canadian oil companies, and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry, but it’s not going to be a huge benefit to US consumers. It’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to US consumers.”
In November, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested that President Obama would veto the bill, “But there have been previous proposals that I expect would be consistent with proposals that have been discussed overnight. And in evaluating those earlier proposals, we have indicated that the President’s senior advisors at the White House would recommend that he veto legislation like that. But we’ll — and that does continue to be our position.”
The news that Obama will veto the bill combined with the announcement by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that Senate Democrats have the votes to sustain the president’s veto means that the bill to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is dead before it has even been voted on.
Republicans will make their first legislative act of the 114 Congress passage of a big gift to the oil companies while President Obama and congressional Democrats will stand up for the interests of ordinary Americans. Democrats are going to add more intrigue to the debate by introducing a series of amendments to the Senate bill that would move to turn Keystone XL into a real jobs bills.
At the end of the day, the new Republican congressional majority is about to feel the sting of Obama’s veto hammer, as Boehner and McConnell are about to find out that Democrats are not going to roll over and give them what they want.