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New England News

Neal Expects Presidential Veto On Keystone Pipeline, Hopeful For Homeland Security Agreement

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Jim Levulis
/
WAMC

During a tour of businesses in Pittsfield, Congressman Richard Neal says the ongoing battle over homeland security funding and President Obama’s immigration actions represents the breakdown of civility that exists in Congress.Congressional Republicans are threatening to block funding for the Department of Homeland Security believing President Obama’s executive action that would protect some 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation is unconstitutional. Democratic Congressman Richard Neal says he doesn’t think anyone wants a shutdown.

“A federal judge has struck down President Obama’s initiative on immigration reform so I think cooler head would suggest well why don’t we continue to fund the department at the prescribed number and wait for the Appellate Court to make a decision,” Neal said. “That buys space for everybody.”

The U.S. Justice Department has appealed the judge’s decision. Most Homeland Security employees would be required to work without immediate pay.

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Neal also expects President Obama to veto a Republican effort to begin construction for the Keystone XL oil pipeline this week.

Neal says if President Obama vetoes the effort it doesn’t terminate the Keystone project. The Democrat says the President is waiting for a recommendation from the State Department since the deal involves Canada.

“I hope that the President can come back after a recommendation is rendered onto him and then he has what I think is the latitude that any president needs to make a determination,” said Neal.

Neal says the presidential veto will not improve relations with the Republican-controlled Congress.

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