They were five votes short in the Senate — only a handful of “yays” shy of overriding President Obama’s veto of legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Yet, despite the failure to override, pipeline proponents vow they will not give up the fight to have the pipeline built. They intend to attach the authorization to another bill…and if that fails, another after that.
The Hill identifies the eight Democrat senators who aligned with their GOP colleagues in voting to push back against Obama’s thumbs-down on the project. Those senators defying their party leadership and bucking Obama were:
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Joe Manchin (W.Va.)
Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)
Mark Warner (Va.)
Claire McCaskill (Mo.)
Bob Casey (Pa.)
Michael Bennet (Colo.)
Tom Carper (Del.)
Jon Tester (Mont.)
The Hill notes that another Democrat who has come out in favor of Keystone, Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, missed the vote.
The author of the Keystone legislation, North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, said the next move is to attach pipeline approval to a bill that Obama would be hard-pressed to veto. The Hill reports:
Hoeven said Republicans are likely to try to attach the legislation to a long-term transportation funding bill. Congress faces a May 31 deadline to approve new transportation funding.
Keystone supporters are optimistic that Obama wouldn’t veto a six-year highway bill, despite vows by the president to veto any attempt to circumvent the ongoing review process of the pipeline.
As Western Journalism reported on Tuesday, Obama may now feel more pressure to find some justification for putting his signature on a pipeline authorization measure. Billionaire investor and powerful Obama backer Warren Buffett let it be known that he’s unhappy with the president’s veto.
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In expressing his displeasure over Obama’s rejection of the pipeline that would stretch from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, Buffett told CNBC:
I think that we have an enormous interest in working with Canada, as they have in working with us. That oil is going to get sold. If we make it more difficult for them, who knows how they’ll feel about making things more difficult for us someday.
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