WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will veto the Keystone XL bill if Congress passes a measure green-lighting the oil pipeline, White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced on Tuesday.
Newly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline project as the first of the new Congress. The bill has some bipartisan support, but environmentalists and progressives have heavily lobbied the White House to oppose the pipeline.
The pipeline is currently in a final phase of review from the State Department.
Earnest added that the White House reviewed the text of the bill to authorize the pipeline on Monday.
Obama would not say in recent months whether he would veto another bill to authorize the pipeline, but suggested that his position hadn’t changed since he last threatened a veto over the pipeline.
A bill to authorize the pipeline failed in the last weeks of the Democratic-led Senate last year, but a new Republican majority ensured the vote could reach a 60-vote filibuster proof majority. Supporters of the pipeline would need to whip 67 votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto.