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Reid: Obama should veto Keystone

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid: Biden should give GOP three weeks to see if they will work with him Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority MORE (D-Nev.) is calling on President Obama to veto legislation that would approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Reid predicted in an interview with Univision Monday evening that legislation authorizing the construction of the controversial pipeline would pass the Senate.

“It looks very close. The talk is now it’s got 58 votes and going to get a couple more,” he said.

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But Reid, who opposes the project, says Obama should kill the legislation with his veto pen.

“Of course he should. If it passes, and it has not passed yet,” he said.

Reid, who will become minority leader in January when Republicans take control of the chamber, had previously refused to allow stand-alone legislation approving Keystone to come to a vote on the Senate floor.

But he is now allowing a vote Tuesday on approving the pipeline after a push from Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who is facing a tough runoff race in December.

Landrieu and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) are spearheading the effort to get the Keystone bill through the Senate. The House passed the same Keystone bill last week, with Landrieu's opponent in the runoff — Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) — its chief sponsor.

With the vote fast approaching, their cause suffered a blow Tuesday when Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) announced he would oppose the Keystone bill.

“Congress is not – nor should it be – in the business of legislating the approval or disapproval of a construction project,” King said in a statement. “And while I am frustrated that the president has refused to make a decision on the future of the pipeline, I don’t believe that short-circuiting the process to circumvent his Administration is in the best interest of the American people.”

King’s decision leaves Landrieu and Hoeven searching for the 60th vote that will get the bill past a procedural hurdle in the Senate.

Obama has not definitively said he would veto the bill, but he has warned lawmakers not to “short-circuit” the presidential review process that is underway.

Updated at 12:02 p.m.