When President Barack Obama rejected a bill approving the Keystone pipeline Tuesday, he opened a new era of governing — one where vetoes are a lot more common.
Republicans are set to pass a long list of bills that would have never made it to the President’s desk in the first six years of his presidency, when Democrats controlled the Senate. The White House, in turn, has been pumping out veto threats on a weekly basis.
In the latest, issued Wednesday, the administration vows to deny a GOP bill rewriting the No Child Left Behind education measure, saying the legislation “represents a significant step backwards in the efforts to help all of the Nation’s children and their families prepare for their futures.”
Republicans argue their Student Success Act gives parents greater flexibility on choosing schools; the Department of Education claims the bill would divert billions of dollars in federal funding from school districts with large minority populations.
It’s just the latest disagreement between the White House and Congress that could lead to the fourth veto of Obama’s presidency.
In all, the White House has promised to reject 15 items currently percolating on Capitol Hill, including the Keystone measure that Obama vetoed Tuesday.
The threats have come against a gamut of different bills: two restricting abortions, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the Homeland Security funding measure reversing Obama’s immigration action, and new sanctions on Iran.
Most have already passed the House of Representatives and await action in the Senate. Here’s what Obama could veto next:
Iran Sanctions: A bipartisan group of lawmakers have been working on new punishments in the event negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program fail. Obama has vowed to veto new sanctions, saying they could prevent progress on a deal. The Senate Banking Committee passed a package last month tightening sanctions if a deal fails, though the full body won’t likely vote until after the next deadline for a framework in March.
Immigration: The funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, mired in partisan politics on Capitol Hill, earned a White House veto threat because an embedded provision would reverse Obama’s executive action on immigration. The bill passed the House but Democrats have prevented it from coming to a vote in the Senate. Lawmakers are currently scrambling to find a way to fund the agency before the end of the week.
Abortion: The White House has threatened vetoes on two abortion bills: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Both bills, the administration says, would unduly restrict a woman’s access to reproductive health care.
Obamacare: In early February, the House voted for the fifty-sixth time to repeal Obama’s landmark health law — and like many of the previous attempts, the White House swiftly vowed a veto. However, unlike measures in the past, this attempt has a chance of passing the Senate now that Republicans control the chamber.