Keystone XL: “It’s Not Congress’ Job To Issue Construction Permits”

If opponents of a DACA expansion are hoping procedural and separation-of-powers issues lift public support for their position, so, too, do opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is coming to a vote in the Senate tomorrow. Nobody thinks the measure forcing approval of the project on the administration will clear the 66 votes necessary to override a veto. But Republicans are hoping for a 60-vote margin that would put the bill on the president’s desk, and have counted on Democrats who favor the pipeline.

But alas, per a report from Bloomberg Politics‘ Kathleen Hunter, some Democratic supporters of the project object to the bill on procedural and separation-of-powers grounds:

[Sen. Chris] Coons “believes it’s the administration’s decision to make and that it’s not Congress’s job to issue construction permits,” said his spokesman, Ian Koski. “He’s incredibly frustrated by how long it’s taking the administration to make this decision, but he plans to vote against the straight authorization the Senate will consider.”

It is Congress’ job, of course, to set immigration policy. But they’re not into that.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.