Congressional Dysfunction, Public Opinion, and the Battle Over the Keystone XL Pipeline
29 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2015 Last revised: 15 Jan 2016
Date Written: December 17, 2015
When President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act in March 2015, he signaled the end of a political drama that pitted Congress against the President, Democrats against Republicans, and the promise of jobs against concern for the environment. Like most drama in Washington, it burned bright and hot, but soon was overtaken by other, suddenly more urgent, matters.
Although news coverage of the pipeline has waned, the Keystone XL legislation represents the serious and enduring problem of congressional dysfunction. Using the Keystone XL legislation as a point of departure, this article offers insights into the inner workings of Congress, the role of deliberation in lawmaking, and the relationship between public opinion and the legislative process.
Keywords: Keystone XL Pipeline, Legislation, Legislative Process, Congressional Dysfunction, Constitutional Law
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