Issues

President Obama Vetoes Keystone XL With Blistering Veto Message

President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill today, with a short message to Republicans in Congress that should serve as a warning that this president is won’t be bullied by anyone.

In his veto message the president said:

I am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.

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The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto.

The president’s message accurately accused Republicans in Congress of trying to circumvent processes while also undercutting the powers of the president. Keystone XL was an attempt by Republicans to take power away from the president. The American people strongly support the president’s position of allowing the process to play out on Keystone XL.

This veto is about more than a piece of legislation that was passed only for the benefit of a foreign oil company. Congressional Republicans tried to bully the President on the pipeline, and he pushed back. Obama’s veto message was short, but it layered with the broader political conflict that will be contested over the last two years of his presidency.

Republicans thought that they were going to show the dominance of their congressional majority. Instead, they have run into a president who is going to stand tall, and fight for what he believes is the right thing for the country until the day that he leaves office.

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