President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act today. He said that due to it circumventing the standard process, it had “earned my veto.” The bill, if signed, would have approved the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The approval of the pipeline typically goes through the State Department and the executive branch, but a final decision has repeatedly been delayed as the Administration has been hesitant to make a decision on construction. The left, especially environmentalists, have been vocal opponents of the pipeline. If approved, the pipeline would bring in crude oil from Canada.
Read President Obama’s official veto message:
“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.
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.”
This is but President Obama’s third veto during his Administration. It is also his first veto in almost five years. His previous two vetoes came in October of 2010 and December of 2009.
The official veto notice arrived in the Senate around 3:30 today. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blasted the veto and said that an override vote would take place no later than March 3.
McConnell’s full statement:
“It’s extremely disappointing that President Obama vetoed a bipartisan bill that would support thousands of good jobs and pump billions of dollars into the economy. It passed both houses of Congress with strong bipartisan support and it’s a priority for organized labor as well. Even the President’s own State Department says construction of this jobs and infrastructure project would result in only minimal environmental impact. 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.”