President Obama Vetoes Congress' Keystone XL Bill Just Hours After It Was Sent to White House

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President Obama delivered on his promise yesterday and vetoes Congress' Keystone XL bill just a few short hours after it was sent to the White House. While the project has been pending for six year, Keystone XL will have to wait a bit longer as the State Department is set to finish its review of the project in the coming weeks.

In a statement about the veto, President Obama states that the bill "unwisely by passed a State Department process that will determine whether the project would be beneficial to the U.S.," according to Reuters.

The President will make a final decision about the Keystone XL project one the review is complete.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada down to Nebraska connect tar sands crude oil so TransCanada can pump up to 830,000 barrels a day into refineries in the Midwest and the Gulf Coast, according to the energy company itself.

But the "back-and-forth" banter between politicians is set to "remain central in Washington," Reuters reported. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner said that the fight isn't over now that the President vetoed the bill—"We are just getting started," they wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today.

McConnell vowed to override the President's veto by March 3. But without the four votes needed to do so, this is highly unlikely.McConnell went on to say that he would "attach language approving the pipeline to a spending bill or other legislation later in the year that the president would find difficult to veto," according to Reuters.

House Speaker John Boehner called the veto a "national embarrassment."

"The president’s veto of the Keystone jobs bill is a national embarrassment. It’s embarrassing when Russia and China are plowing ahead on two massive pipelines and we can’t get this one no-brainer of a project off the ground. The president is just too close to environmental extremists to stand up for America’s workers. He’s too invested in left-fringe politics to do what presidents are called on to do, and that’s put the national interest first."

While Boehner highlighted the stimulation of jobs from the proposed pipeline, President Obama downplayed the so-called job creation and instead his decision weighed the environmental impacts over any economic benefits.

"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said in his veto message to the Senate. "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."

This is just the third veto of Obama's presidency, but it was a victorious one at that.

 


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