Yesterday, the newly-GOP controlled Senate advanced legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and they did it with the help multiple Democrats, the Huffington Post reported.
Despite the fact that the White House has previously said that President Obama will veto the bill, the Senate “voted 63-32 to clear a procedural hurdle and begin debate on the bill.”
Naturally, every single Republican voted to advance the bill, but they also had support from one Independent senator, Angus King (ME), and ten Democrats: Michael Bennet (CO), Tom Carper (DE), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Jon Tester (MT), Tom Udall (NM), and Mark Warner (VA).
The House passed the bill last week, 266 to 153, and a final vote on the Senate’s bill is expected is expected later this week, according to HuffPo. As it stands, neither chamber currently has the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto.
The White House has said that part of the reasoning behind their plan to veto was over a pending decision in the Nebraska Supreme Court over the pipeline’s proposed route. Last week, the Court approved the route through the state.
The other reason for delaying a decision on the pipeline is that the State Department has not yet finished its evaluation of whether or not the project is in the best interest of the country. The pipeline poses the risk for severe environmental damage, along with not creating the jobs that proponents had once claimed. In all actuality, the entire pipeline project will result in less than 50 permanent jobs — hardly the economic fix-all its supporters make it out to be.
On Friday before the Nebraska verdict was announced, White House spokesperson Eric Schultz addressed Congress’ plan.
“Regardless of the Nebraska ruling today,” said Schultz, “the House bill still conflicts with longstanding Executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the President and prevents the thorough consideration of complex issues that could bear on US national interests, and if presented to the President, he will veto the bill.”