Washington (CNN)At a ceremonial "signing" of a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline House Speaker John Boehner's message to President Barack Obama was "do the right thing" and enact the measure into law.
Boehner holds signing ceremony for Keystone bill destined for veto
Boehner knows the President has already and repeatedly pledged to veto the bill. But the photo op at the U.S. Capitol of the Speaker prepping the bill to go to the White House on Friday morning, surrounded by GOP lawmakers and the head of the builders union that would construct the pipeline, was all about sending a political message.
"The new majority is getting Congress back to work for the American people," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.
One after another Republicans cited bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate for the measure, and attempted to isolate the president as the only person standing in the way of the pipeline.
Congressional Republicans argue Keystone, which would carry oil from Canada through six U.S. states to the Gulf of New Mexico, would generate tens of thousands of new jobs. Democrats dispute that claim, and the president maintains it's up to the executive branch, not Congress, to decide whether or not Keystone should be approved.
It's unclear when the bill will arrive at the White House, but the president will have ten days after he receives it to issue his veto. McConnell's office said the bill would be sent Obama as soon as the Senate returns following the Presidents Day weeklong recess.
Senate Republicans are expected to hold a vote to try to override the president's veto. But they already know they do not have the two-thirds majority needed to enact the law over the president's objections.