Keystone XL Pipeline Vote Set in Congress, Obama Likely to Veto Legislation Pushed By Sen. Mary Landrieu in US Senate
Ahead of her December runoff election for the U.S. Senate race against Republican candidate Bill Cassidy, Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu called for the Senate to vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The debate of the Keystone XL pipeline comes as the Senate may be set to vote on it on Nov. 19. "It is ready for a vote and we have the 60 votes to pass it," said Landrieu, stating she's "confident" in securing the filibuster-proof voters required.
"I thought we would have to wait until the new Congress is seated to have the 60 votes. But if 15 Democrats will join us, we can pass the bill now, and we should," said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
In the House of Representatives, Landrieu's Senate opponent, Rep. Cassidy, and fellow representatives are set to vote on the Keystone XL legislation on Friday. Cassidy is the author of the House bill.
According to CNBC, the Keystone XL bill is popular in Louisiana, and Landrieu is behind in new polling data against Cassidy. The U.S. Department of State's "Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project" noted approximately 421,000 jobs will be added with the construction of the pipeline but only for two years. The report added that nearly $3.4 billion will be added to the U.S. economy, which equates to about 0.02 percent of the GDP.
The White House has indicated a potential veto may occur if the bill passes through Congress.
"Evaluating those earlier proposals, we have indicated that the president's senior advisers at the White House have recommended that he veto legislation like that and that has continued to be our position," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Congress, however, has the ability to override the president's veto.
"After betraying the Latino community on deportations for her own personal political gain, it is salt on the wound for Sen. Mary Landrieu to now also throw our health and well-being under the bus by pushing to approve the toxic Keystone XL pipeline," Presente.org Executive Director Arturo Carmona said in a statement obtained by Latin Post.
"Keystone XL would be a disaster for Latinos on all fronts: our communities are on the front lines of climate change, facing rising waters in Miami and brutal drought in the Southwest, and we will bear the brunt of cancer-causing pollution at proposed KXL refineries in Texas," Carmona added.
"We are thrilled to hear that President Obama has taken steps to put an end to this political pageantry once and for all by assuring a veto, but it is time for him to reject the pipeline once and for all," said Carmona.
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