- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota’s congressional delegation is split on overriding President Barack Obama’s planned veto of the Keystone pipeline project.

Keystone supporters are unsure if Republicans, who control the House and Senate, can rally the two-third majorities needed to undo a veto. First proposed in 2008, the pipeline would connect Canada’s tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

Republicans will delay sending the Keystone bill to the president until after their weeklong recess, so they can be in town when Obama vetoes it.

Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, all Democrats, plan to vote against an override, according to the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1KXvIEu ).

Republican Reps. Tom Emmer, John Kline and Erik Paulsen and Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson said they will vote to override. Democrat Rick Nolan won’t tip his hand on a vote. And Democrat Tim Walz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The main reason for Republicans to hold veto override votes on Keystone, immigration reform and other hot-button issues is “to set up a case for abuse of power” by a Democratic White House, said Dean Lacy, a Dartmouth College professor specializing in presidential politics.

Without the pipeline, Minnesota will deal with oil trains carrying Canadian tar sands crude. “The policy value” of the pipeline in terms of job creation and environmental safety “is bordering on the trivial,” Lacy explained. “But the political value is significant.”

Each Keystone vote, said Lacy, “cut members of Congress into an environmentalist camp or a big business camp when no one wants to be in either.”


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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