Politics

Congress Passes Keystone Bill, Sets Up First Veto in 5 Years

In this Jan. 10, 2015 file photo, demonstrators stand in front of the White House in Washington, during a rally in support of President Barack Obama's pledge to veto any legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline say the privately-funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs and make the U.S. dependent on oil from friends, rather than foes. Critics claim it will be disastrous for the pollution blamed for global warming and put communities along its 1,179-mile route at risk for an environmentally-damaging spill, all for oil and products that will be exported anyway. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
In this Jan. 10, 2015 file photo, demonstrators stand in front of the White House in Washington, during a rally in support of President Barack Obama’s pledge to veto any legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

 

(Time) – Congress passed a bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline, setting up the first veto since 2010 and only the third in the Obama presidency.

Keystone — the first priority of the new Republican Congress — has become one of the highest-profile environmental debates in the country and could pose problems for some Democratic candidates in the 2016 presidential cycle. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for example, has declined to take a position until her former agency completes its review of the $8 billion pipeline.

Republican glee was evident even before the House passed the bill 270-152. Neither the House nor the Senate has enough votes to overcome a potential veto.

“Instead of listening to the people, the President is standing with a bunch of left-fringe extremists and anarchists,” said House Speaker John Boehner in a press conference before reporters.

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