GOP leaders vow to continue Keystone fight

GOP leaders vow to continue Keystone fight
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Republican leaders warned President Obama on Tuesday that, if he thinks vetoing legislation that authorizes the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline is the end of the fight, he is "sadly mistaken."

In an op-ed published Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible MORE (R-Ohio) urge the president to sign legislation approving the $8 billion oil sands project but threaten to continue the fight if he doesn't.

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"The allure of appeasing environmental extremists may be too powerful for the president to ignore," the Republican leaders said. "But the president is sadly mistaken if he thinks vetoing this bill will end this fight. Far from it."

"We are just getting started."

Republicans plan on Tuesday to send the bill to the White House, where it is expected to meet a swift demise.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated the president's plan to veto the bill on Monday and said not to expect "a lot of drama or fanfare" surrounding it.

The administration argues the bill circumvents the ongoing process at the State Department, which Obama has said he wants to be allowed to play out. 

McConnell and Boehner assailed this notion in their op-ed, arguing, "if anything, the process has been needlessly drawn out."

The pipeline has been under review by the U.S. for six years, going through roughly five environmental impact reviews.

Sticking to the GOP's vow to paint Obama as an obstructionist with this first veto since 2010, McConnell and Boehner chide the president in their op-ed for refusing to listen or look for common ground.

"It's the same kind of top-down, tone-deaf leadership we've come to expect and we were elected to stop," the duo said.

The administration has pushed back at such rhetoric, arguing that, if the new Republican-controlled Congress wanted to work with the president, it would not have brought forward a bill on an issue Obama has made clear he would veto.

Tuesday's expected veto could be the first of many for Obama during his last two years in office as he faces a GOP majority in both chambers.