WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2015 – President Barack Obama today kept his promise and vetoed a bill approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.
In a message to the Senate, Obama said the bill was an attempt by Congress 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,” Obama wrote. “But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because the 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.”
The Senate passed the Keystone Pipeline Approval Act (S. 1) on Jan. 29 by a vote of 62-36 with two senators not voting. The House approved the measure on Feb. 11 by a vote of 270-152, with 10 members not voting. Both votes failed to attract the two-thirds majority to overcome a veto.
House Speaker John Boehner called the veto “a national embarrassment.” “The president is just too close to environmental extremists to stand up for America’s workers,” Boehner said. “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.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said he was disappointed but not surprised by the veto and that “Congress will work to fix this terribly broken process.”
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