No wonder other Senate Democrats are pressuring the president on the issue. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota took the president to task over the State Department’s foot-dragging, saying “the Keystone Pipeline decision has taken longer than it took us to defeat Hitler” and has threatened congressional veto to override the administration’s decision. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia told USA Today that approval for the pipeline is a “no brainer.”
The longer the president waits, the more it will hurt his party’s chances of retaining control of the Senate. And, although granting the permit will certainly infuriate the president’s green base, facing Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate will seriously hamper any chance that he will have to enact any part of his agenda during his last two years in the White House.
The clock is ticking.
Michael Whatley is executive vice president with Consumer Energy Alliance. He leads the BuildKXLNow.org campaign, an effort advocating for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.