Keeping his promise, U.S. President Barack Obama vetoed legislation that would have expedited the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. This is the third veto issued by Obama since he took office six years ago.
Republicans in the House and Senate will now have to decide whether to attempt to override the veto of the controversial pipeline project. It appears that they may not have the two-thirds majority of support required for it to succeed, according to Politico.
The President rejected the bill because it attempted to circumvent processes that decide whether building the pipeline would be in the national interest, according to a statement issued by the White House. "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," Obama wrote.
Following the veto, several senators issued statements condemning it as a move that blocks the creation of American jobs.
“President Obama’s veto ignores the will of a clear, bipartisan majority of the American public,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “I am disappointed that he has put the priorities of extreme environmental special interests above those of working families. The Keystone pipeline has broad support because it would enhance our nation’s energy security while supporting thousands of good-paying jobs.”
In the House, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, characterized it as 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,” Boehner said. “The president is just too close to environmental extremists to stand up for America’s workers.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the chamber will decide whether to pursue an override by March 3, according to Reuters. The last time Obama used the power of the veto was five years ago, against the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010.