By Robert A. Vella
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the contentious Keystone XL pipeline project. The Senate will take up the bill next week where it is expected to have bipartisan support and be approved without much difficulty. President Obama has said he would veto the bill. Congressional Republicans have been working to secure enough votes from Democrats in order to override a presidential veto, it necessary.
Daily Kos reported that 28 Democrats in the House voted for the measure with two more not in attendance who probably would have also voted to approve it. The final count was 266-153 with 1 Republican voting ‘present,’ 3 others who didn’t vote, and none who voted ‘no.’ 12 members were not in attendance (4 Republicans, 8 Democrats).
Assuming that no one would switch their vote in an attempt to override a veto (admittedly a big “if”), Republicans would fall short of that goal by at least 11 votes (a two-thirds majority is required to override a presidential veto). This is perhaps no guarantee that Keystone XL will be defeated, but it does offer a glimmer of environmental hope that it will… for the time being anyway.