In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. In the White House, President Barack Obama has preached economic opportunity and equal access to education as cornerstones of the legacy he says he wants to leave behind. But in the contest to host his presidential library, two public universities that serve needy communities fear the playing field has been tilted against them by a pair of elite, private schools with seemingly endless funding. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. In the White House, President Barack Obama has preached economic opportunity and equal access to education as cornerstones of the legacy he says he wants to leave behind. But in the contest to host his presidential library, two public universities that serve needy communities fear the playing field has been tilted against them by a pair of elite, private schools with seemingly endless funding. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline.

A bill that would have forced Obama’s hand on the issue failed to clear Congress in its final days last year. But the Congress that convened Tuesday is Republican-controlled and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the pipeline bill will be among the first issues voted on.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says he does not expect Obama would sign any Keystone legislation that reaches his desk.

The spokesman says there is a “well-established” review process that is being run by the State Department that should not be undermined by legislation.

Earnest also says the pipeline’s route through Nebraska also must be resolved.

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