Neither expect the debate to end with a veto.
The House followed Senate action in approving a measure authorizing construction of the pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. The 270-to-152 vote in the House came after the Senate approved the bill on a 62-to-36 vote. Both votes fall short of the totals needed to override a veto.
The bill would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska where it could connect with the southern portion of the pipeline that is delivering oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.
Every member of the Nebraska Congressional delegation voted for the bill.
Sen. Deb Fischer says the expected presidential veto of the Keystone XL pipeline bill is only one step in a long process. Fischer says the decision on Keystone XL remains the president’s, whether he vetoes this bill or not.
“He still has to make a decision whether to approve or not to approve the crossing of the border between Canada and the United States for this pipeline,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
Fischer recalls the president telling Republican senators during a luncheon two years ago he would make a decision on Keystone XL in a couple of months.
“This was two years ago and the president said he would have his decision in a couple of months,” Fischer says. “He and I tell time differently”
Sen. Ben Sasse says the debate over Keystone XL needs to be expanded to an overall debate on energy policy.
“I expect the president will veto it. I don’t do a lot of legislative vote counting and speculation, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be the votes to override that veto, but I think it helps frame a 2016 presidential election that’s about what the two parties are for,” Sasse tells Nebraska Radio Network. “And, again, I think there are a bunch of Democrats that are with Republicans in thinking we need a comprehensive energy strategy.”