Power Politics: The Battle Over Keystone

The Keystone XL Pipeline got its vote, but not the results supporters were looking for. Supporters had renewed their hopes for passage of the pipeline after the resounding Republican victory in the midterm elections. Despite the President’s continued opposition to the project, the House of Representatives had remained staunchly pro-Keystone; Friday’s 252 to 161 passage of the pipeline marked the House’s ninth approval of the project.

Thou largely decried as an attempt to give embattled Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu a political bump ahead of her December 6th runoff election, the Senate went ahead with the vote on Keystone XL. It was close ― Keystone XL only failed by one vote.

What does this mean for the future of the pipeline? Is Keystone XL dead?

Not quite, says Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

Even before the vote, Cornyn was optimistic. “I have no real doubt that the president will veto it eventually,” Cornyn told MSNBC. “So we will come back at it next year and keep coming back until we get a solution.”

If Keystone XL comes up again in the next Congress, we could see different results. The House obviously already has ― and should maintain ― the majority needed to pass Keystone XL again. The Huffington Post predicts that the upcoming Senate should have at least 61 votes in favor of the pipeline. Given these results, it seems like the bill may finally make it past both chambers.

Just one question remains: With rumors still circulating that Obama will veto Keystone if it passes, can both houses wrangle the two-thirds support needed to override a presidential veto?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Comments (1)

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  1. Santiago says:

    It’s hardly a question of whether or not President Obama will veto the bill at this point… The guiding principle Republicans need to pass Keystone is to create a more moderate agreement that 2/3s of congress would actually follow.