White House Eager to Veto Keystone, Finally

The president will issue his first veto of 2015 on Tuesday.

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Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP

It will start with a whisper, not a bang.  

On Tuesday, without any fanfare or speech, President Obama could issue his first veto of 2015. By refusing to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline bill, Obama will usher in a new and contentious relationship with the Republican-controlled Congress that will likely result in many more vetoes before he leaves office. 

"I would anticipate, as we've been saying for years, that the president will veto that legislation, and he will, so I would not anticipate a lot of drama or fanfare around it," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday. 

If anything, the White House has been surprised that the president hasn't been able to veto Keystone sooner, since Congress passed the contentious bill over a week ago. 

"I have been perplexed by this process and the way it's unfolded. Congress passed this bill like 10 days ago but it's just coming to the White House, apparently as early as tomorrow," Earnest said. 

It is virtually impossible that Obama will set a new record for vetoes given that he has, up until this point in his presidency, only vetoed two bills and Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 635 of them. Still, the dynamic between the Republican-held Congress and the Democratic president is not filling many observers with optimism that the two branches of government will spend much of the last two years of Obama's term working together. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the White House would issue an email on Tuesday announcing the veto. No such final decision has been made regarding the timing or manner in which the promised veto will be announced. We regret this error. 

For more, read this QuickTake: Why Keystone Counts

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