Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats will try to improve a pending bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, but that even with those improvements, he believes President Barack Obama should veto the legislation.
"These amendments will make it better but certainly not good enough at this point in time," Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I think there will be enough Democratic votes to sustain the president's veto. We need a much different energy policy."
Republicans in the Senate are expected to quickly take up a bill on the Keystone pipeline after gaining control of the upper chamber this week. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Senate Republicans would work to approve the pipeline, which McConnell said "would put a lot of people to work almost immediately."
However, the State Department has said the pipeline would create only 35 permanent jobs after it was constructed, something Schumer brought up in his remarks to CBS.
"Our Republican colleagues say that this is a jobs bill but that really is not true at all. ... And so Democrats are dubious of this, but we’re going to introduce amendments to make it more of a jobs bill," he said.
Schumer said there will be amendments saying that steel used in the pipeline must come from the U.S. and that oil from the pipeline should not be exported to other countries. Another amendment, he said, would add more jobs in wind and solar energy. But even with those amendments, Schumer said he believes Democrats would sustain a presidential veto. Obama has not said how he would respond to the legislation.
On "Fox News Sunday," Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) was asked whether Republicans have the votes to overturn a potential veto by Obama. Thune noted that the pipeline has some Democratic support.
"It's going to be up to a lot of those Democrats who have expressed support for this in the past as to whether or not now that it really matters -- it's more than just a symbolic vote -- whether or not they're going to be there," Thune said.