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Republican Senator Admits GOP Doesn’t Have The Votes To Override Obama Keystone XL Veto

Read: Samuel Alito Is The Insurrectionist Threat To Democracy On The Supreme Court

Republican Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) grudgingly admitted on Fox News Sunday that Senate Republicans don’t have the votes needed to override President Obama’s expected veto of a bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Transcript via Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: All right, Senator Hoeven, why do you think the president keeps dragging this out, as I say, six years and now more review at the State Department? And to get directly to the point that Senator Coons brought up, will you have — whether you’re going to pass it, you’re going to send it to the president. Are you going to have the 67 votes in the Senate to override the president’s veto?

SEN. JOHN HOEVEN, R-N.D., ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES CMTE: Well, first as to what is the president doing, actions speak louder than words. He’s delayed this project for more than six years. Americans won World War II in less than six years. So, clearly, he’s trying to defeat the project with endless delays, which is why it’s important that Congress acts. And as far as getting it past and overriding a veto, we go back to the merits, it’s about energy, it’s about jobs, it’s economic growth, increases GDP $3.4 billion, and it’s about national security by achieving energy security.

Look, you have got an overwhelming majority of the public that wants this done. The latest Fox poll on this issue, 68 percent of Americans want the Keystone pipeline built. Every state on the route, seven states have approved it. The only thing holding it up is President Obama.

WALLACE: Let me ask a direct question, though, because we have got — we’ve got a lot to cover here, do you at this moment have the 67 votes to override the veto?

HOEVEN: Right now we have got about 63, but we’re going to the floor with an open amendment process trying to foster more bipartisanship, getting the Senate to work the way it’s supposed to work, so that we can pass this measure and other measures and either override the veto or attach the builder, other legislation that will get 67 votes.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons (DE) pointed out on the same program that it is obvious that Republicans won’t have the votes to override Obama’s veto, “And I think we should notice that there were enough votes voting against that in the House, that it’s clear there will not be a veto override. So, my hope as this comes to the Senate, we will take it up. We will not override the president’s coming veto, and then we will move past this issue and towards a real debate about what Americans want. An energy policy that includes growing good jobs, American innovation and infrastructure, energy independence, and that doesn’t hurt our environment. We can and should be able to get to that discussion.”

Republicans don’t have the votes to override President Obama’s promised veto. What Sen. Hoeven was referring to was a plan to attach Keystone XL authorization to legislation that the president has to sign. However, it is questionable whether or not, the additionally needed Democratic votes would be there for anything that Keystone XL is attached to. By pressing the issue on Keystone XL, Republicans are setting up a potential government shutdown type showdown on Keystone XL.

President Obama won’t sign the bill, and congressional Republicans have no clear plan to get the pipeline authorized. The Republican push to force Keystone XL on the American people has run into more resistance than they expected, and the result could be a crushing defeat for Boehner and McConnell on a key piece of their agenda.

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