As expected, President Obama vetoed legislation approving S.1 – the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act” – Tuesday. The pipeline would have transported oil from Alberta to the United States Gulf Coast.
In his veto statement, Obama said: “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.” He continued:
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.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, lambasted Obama Tuesday, calling the veto “a national embarrassment” in a press release.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoed Boehner’s sentiments in a statement of his own. “Even though the president has yielded to powerful special interests, this veto doesn’t end the debate. Americans should know that the new Congress won’t stop pursuing good ideas, including this one.”
McConnell spokesman Don Stewart tweeted that a veto override will happen “no later than March the 3rd.”
ccording to Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, two thirds of both Houses of Congress must override the president’s veto for the $8 billion TransCanada pipeline to become law.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.