According to Sen. Jim Inhofe, there may be enough Democratic votes to override President Barack Obama's expected veto of legislation to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Oklahoma Republican said Democrats who survived their party's big defeat in the midterm elections Nov. 4 want to keep their distance from the president — so much so that many of them would vote to override a possible veto on the pipeline.
"After the beating the Democrats took, keep in mind we have another election coming up in 2016," Inhofe told WMAL Radio on Thursday, The Washington Free Beacon
reported. "There are a lot of Democrats who will not be real excited about President Obama. Just look at the last election – how few Democrats wanted Obama to come into their states to campaign for him."
Asked if he believed Republicans could muster enough Democratic votes to override a presidential veto on the pipeline, Inhofe replied: "I think so."
If all 45 Republicans currently in the Senate voted for the project, they would need 22 Democratic votes to ensure that a presidential veto could be overridden.
In the 114th Congress, which convenes in January, Republicans will have at least 53 votes, 14 short of the target. And if incumbent Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu loses a Dec. 6 runoff election, the GOP will have 54 seats in the Senate.
The Associated Press
reported Thursday that pipeline supporters appear to have 58 of the 60 votes they would need to win Senate approval of legislation to authorize the pipeline next week after Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, announced his support.
Although Obama has not formally declared his intention to veto the pipeline measure, spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday the White House takes a "dim view"
of congressional efforts to push through legislation supporting the project.
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