FUQ IT.. CHANGE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RULES FOR VETO OVER RIDE FROM 66% to 50%. HEY IF ITS GOOD ENOUGH WHEN HARRY REID WAS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER AND ITS OK FOR OBAMA WITH HIS EXECUTIVE ACTIONS...
Senate OKs Keystone XL, but without enough support to override veto (Change the rule)
The Senate passed legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline by a 62-36 vote Thursday, a victory expected to be short-lived for the pipeline's backers as the bill heads to President Obama's desk for a likely veto.
Nine Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill, which would OK the $8 billion Canada-to-Texas project. The bill was the first test for the GOP-led Senate, which pledged to stick to an open amendment process that was laborious and at times contentious over the nearly three weeks the bill was on the floor.
The bill now will go to the House for passage or head to a conference for reconciliation with the House version passed earlier this month. Obama already has threatened to veto the bill, saying it would circumvent a federal review that has taken more than six years.
"We'll see what happens going forward. But this was a tremendous bipartisan effort," said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., the bill's lead sponsor, who added he's not certain when the bill would come back for a vote if vetoed.
Democrats are certain they can block an attempt to override an eventual Obama veto. The pipeline's supporters were four votes shy Thursday of the 67 needed to overturn a veto.
"It's pretty clear that there are not the votes to override the bill in the House or the Senate," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters at a press conference in the Capitol.
Republicans weren't ready to concede defeat. But Hoeven said he believed Obama might approve the project if it is wrapped into broader energy legislation or a spending bill.
Hoeven noted Obama signed a 2012 bill that temporarily extended a payroll tax cut that included a directive to approve or deny TransCanada Corp.'s application for a cross-border permit to build the northern portion of its 1,700-mile pipeline. Obama rejected the permit, and TransCanada refiled.
"We do have precedent of attaching it to something and having him sign the bill," Hoeven told reporters.
Republicans and centrist Democrats have touted Keystone XL as a jobs bill. They noted the State Department's final environmental review said the pipeline would add 42,100 direct and indirect jobs during the two-year construction phase. The review also said Keystone XL would not significantly harm the environment.
"After dropping his scheme to tax middle-class college savings, we hope President Obama will now drop his threat to veto this common-sense bill that would strengthen our energy security and create thousands and thousands of new, good-paying American jobs," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said he doesn't envision any scenario in which Obama OKs the pipeline through legislation, but he ultimately doesn't know what the president will decide to do about the project.
"That is the unanswered question and I've asked it of him several times," the Illinois Democrat told reporters.
The president has echoed concerns of environmentalists that the oil sands Keystone XL would export are destined for overseas and has downplayed the amount of jobs the pipeline would provide. He also has maintained that whether Keystone XL worsens climate change will be his litmus test for rejection or approval.
Democrats said Keystone XL would do little to add jobs, noting that the State Department said the pipeline would create 35 permanent posts. They also have called the department's environmental review suspect, and have pointed out the Environmental Protection Agency has called the analysis "inadequate."
"This bill is a disgrace, and it's the first bill [Republicans] bring up," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., missed the vote, as did Reid, who is recovering from eye surgery sustained from an exercise injury.
RIGHT NOW THERE IS NO LAW.. AND THE CONSTITUTION IS IN FLUX...
ARE OUR REPRESENTATIVES BALLSY ENOUGH TO CREATE OUR NEW RULES PLAYBOOK ??