Keystone and Vetoes

All the pundits are looking to the Senate for an override of President Barack Obama’s pending veto of the pending Keystone XL Pipeline legislation. The Senate, it seems, has 63 votes for passage (which implies a cloture vote won’t be a problem), but the focus is on the Senate’s lack of four more votes to produce a “veto-proof” bill.

All the pundits are skipping over two key factors.

One is that a Senate passage with 67 Senators voting “aye” is not at all veto proof. That’s just for passage. The veto override is an entirely separate vote that comes after the President has, in fact, said “No” to his Senators and to the legislation. To override in the Senate, all 13 Senators voting for passage would then have to vote against their president to override. Every single one of them.

Also lost in the “veto-proof” blather, though, is a larger hurdle. Obama’s “No” would have to be overridden in the House, too: 290 Representatives would have to vote to override. That means that 44 of Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) Democrats would have to vote to override their President.

Good luck with that. Good luck with either of those.

Pass the bill, anyway, with a roll call vote in each House. Then do roll call votes in each House to override. Use Obama’s veto and those Democrats’ votes to shape the ’16 elections.

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