He might be viewed by some as a lame duck cornered by an antagonistic Congress eager to shut him down, but President Obama is apparently still willing to flex his executive powers when it comes to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would stretch from the U.S.-Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.

The newly convened Republican members of the House and Senate have placed the Keystone vote high on their list of action items for 2015, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest indicated Tuesday that the president could lower the veto boom if pertinent legislation arrived at his Oval Office desk (via The Wall Street Journal):

President Barack Obama is prepared to veto any bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House said Tuesday, calling the legislation an unwelcome interference with the current administration review.

House Republicans have scheduled a vote Friday on a measure approving the pipeline, while the Senate is expected to begin debating the bill soon. A Senate vote is expected in the coming weeks.

Obama’s reasons for potentially nixing the bill tilt toward the procedural rather than the environmental, at least according to Tuesday’s official explanation. “There’s a well established process that should not be undermined by legislation,” Earnest told reporters that morning at the daily White House press briefing.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.