Some Dems prepared to override Obama's veto

Some Dems prepared to override Obama's veto
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Some Senate Democrats are already saying they will vote to override President Obama's veto of legislation authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Ex-Rep. Akin dies at 74 Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (Mo.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampVirginia loss lays bare Democrats' struggle with rural voters Washington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight MORE (N.D.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenators urging federal investigation into Liberty University's handling of sexual assault claims Crucial talks on Biden agenda enter homestretch Senate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents MORE (Pa.) will vote to override Obama’s veto, according to aides, and it’s possible that several other Democrats will follow suit.

Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats livid over GOP's COVID-19 attacks on Biden US could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Ky.), said the "Senate will soon vote on an override" of the veto, with the action coming "not later than March the 3rd."

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The vote is certain to fail unless Republicans and Democrats who support the pipeline are able to recruit four more senators to their cause. Sixty-three senators voted for the Keystone bill, including nine Democrats, but 67 votes are needed to overrule a presidential veto.

Still, every Democratic vote to override the veto would be a rebuke of Obama, who needs to avoid major rifts with his party as he enters the final stretch of his presidency.

While Manchin said he plans to back the override, he isn't expecting the effort to be successful.

"I would vote to override it but are we going to have it? I mean we only had nine votes to pass it so what do you think? I don't think that's going to happen," Manchin told reporters on Tuesday.

McCaskill argued that Obama should listen to the State Department’s review of Keystone, which "shows that his oil is coming out of the ground, it’s only a question of how."

"Pipelines are better than barges or trains. That’s common sense, and I will vote to override this veto," McCaskill said.

Heitkamp, who has voted to approve the pipeline multiple times, said Keystone supporters need to fight on.

"We must continue to look for other avenues and also work for more votes and compromises on legislation that would ultimately approve this project," she said.

Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHickenlooper: Law preventing cannabis business banking 'a recipe for disaster' Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE (Colo.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems seek to preserve climate provisions Democrats wrangle to keep climate priorities in spending bill  Five ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan MORE (Del.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (Ind.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocrats wrangle to keep climate priorities in spending bill  On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Senators huddle on path forward for SALT deduction in spending bill MORE (Mont.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal Liberty University professor charged with alleged sexual battery and abduction of student Five Senate Democrats reportedly opposed to Biden banking nominee MORE (Va.) were the other Democrats joining Heitkamp, Manchin, McCaskill and Casey in voting to approve Keystone.

Even if all nine Democrats who voted to approve Keystone in January support overriding Obama's veto, the Senate would still fall short.

Getting a two-thirds majority would be even tougher in the House, with Republicans needing scores of Democrats to buck the president.

If an override fails, it still won't be the end, with proponents saying they will try to attach approval of Keystone to a larger energy package, an infrastructure bill or an appropriations bill.

And at every turn opponents will meet votes with protests, and will press Democrats to sustain the veto.

“The sooner we can start working on sustaining a veto, the better,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “What it comes down to is loyalty to president.”