President Barack Obama, exercising his veto power for the first time in five years, rejected on Tuesday a measure green-lighting the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Obama’s signature denying the Keystone bill kicks off what’s expected to be a flurry of vetoes on measures that Republicans will send to the White House now they control both chambers of Congress. The President has already threatened to reject 13 GOP-sponsored pieces of legislation, including bills rolling back the Affordable Care Act and reversing his executive action on immigration.
On Keystone, it appears unlikely GOP lawmakers will be able to reverse Obama’s veto. The threshold for overriding a President’s veto is a two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress.
After the President’s official veto message was received in the Senate at about 3:30 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the veto override will happen no later than next Tuesday.
The measure, which passed the Republican controlled House and Senate earlier this month, would have bypassed an administration review of the oil pipeline project, which if completed would transport oil from tar sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Advocates – including Republican leaders in Congress and the government of Canada – say Keystone would create American jobs, but opponents argue the pote