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White House Promises to Veto GOP’s Keystone Legislation

McConnell and the Republicans are sending a Keystone bill to the president despite a veto threat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
McConnell and the Republicans are sending a Keystone bill to the president despite a veto threat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The new GOP-led Congress is moving quickly to put a bill expediting the Keystone XL Pipeline on President Barack Obama’s desk, despite a new veto threat from the White House.  

White House press secretary Josh Earnest, in his daily briefing Tuesday, said the president has no plans to sign the legislation. “I can confirm for you that if this bill passes this Congress then the president wouldn’t sign it,” he said.  

“The pipeline route has not even been finalized yet,” he said in reference to a Nebraska court case.  

His comments came after new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved earlier Tuesday — the first day of the new 114th Congress — to expedite the pro-pipeline legislation.  

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Republicans would expedite getting the bill that would authorize construction of Keystone to the floor. He said that the Energy Committee hearing and markup would take place as soon as possible and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would likely substitute in the committee bill.  

“It’s just a procedural thing so we can get started without too much delay,” Cornyn said. “Sen. McConnell will likely substitute the committee product for the bill he’s Rule 14’ed, but he wants to keep his commitment to go through the regular committee process. [And] we don’t want to have some dead time here where we are not doing anything. So that’s the reason for that procedure … We will probably be open for amendments on Monday.”  


The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress


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