Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today laid out the priorities for the new Republican-controlled Congress, promising to challenge President Obama with bills “he’s not going to like.”
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” McConnell, R-Ky., said he would advance Republican priorities such as approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
He also said the new Senate—which begins work Tuesday—will attempt to repeal Obamacare, or at least roll back controversial individual components of the health care law, such as the medical device tax and the individual mandate.
“We’ll be voting on things I know he’s not going to like,” McConnell said. “And I hope we can put them on his desk.”
The first of those things is likely to be the $8 billion pipeline, which would send up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day 1,700 miles from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
“We’ll be voting on things I know he [Obama] is not going to like,” says Mitch McConnell.
Republicans call the pipeline a job creator, but opponents argue it will harm the environment.
The southern leg of the pipeline, spanning from Oklahoma to Texas, already has been completed. The U.S. government has yet to approve the northern leg, which would run from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska.
Also today, a top Senate Democrat predicted that Republicans won’t get the Democratic votes needed to override a veto of the Keystone bill by Obama.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., revealed that Democrats plan to introduce several amendments to the bill, including a proposal that would require that the oil sent through the pipeline to stay in the United States and not be exported to other countries.
Other Democratic amendments would require steel used to build the pipeline to be manufactured in the United States. Another amendment would boost solar and wind energy jobs.
“These amendments will make it better, but certainly not good enough at this time,” Schumer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I think there will be enough Democratic votes to sustain the president’s veto.”