Politics

Obama’s Year of the Veto

In this Dec. 12, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama on Thursday capped a swift and forceful response to an Associated Press investigation by signing into law a measure that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving U.S. Social Security benefits. AP’s investigation, which was the impetus for the No Social Security for Nazis Act, found that dozens of former Nazis collected millions of dollars in retirement benefits after being forced to leave the United States. Recipients ranged from the SS guards who patrolled the Third Reich’s network of camps where millions of Jews died to a rocket scientist who helped develop the V-2 rocket that Nazi Germany used to attack London. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
In this Dec. 12, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Politico) – President Barack Obama’s Keystone veto threat Tuesday was the opening gambit in his fight with the new Republican majorities in Congress looking to derail his post-midterm momentum.

Worried White House aides spent the last few weeks working behind the scenes to make sure they had the votes to sustain a veto, rounding up enough Democrats willing to stand behind their lame-duck president and prevent him from being humiliated by an override.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s waiting only for the initial text of the bill approving the massive oil pipeline reflected confidence that they’d won this round.

A veto would come with political complications for Obama. Republicans are already pointing to the threat as more evidence of their narrative that he’s a dictatorial president who refuses to listen, even on an issue that has enormous support in public opinion polls. Supportive Democrats, though, say they’re eager to see the president dig in and concentrate more on fighting than compromising.

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