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Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline approval bill

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota in this November 14, 2014 file photo. President Barack Obama struck a defiant tone for his dealings with the new Republican-led Congress on Tuesday, calling on his opponents to raise taxes on the rich and threatening to veto legislation that would challenge his key decisions. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PART OF THE PACKAGE "STATE OF THE UNION". TO FIND ALL 17, SEARCH "OBAMA DECISIONS"

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday swiftly delivered on his vow to veto a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period.

The Senate received Obama's veto message and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately countered by announcing the Republican-led chamber would attempt to overturn the veto by March 3.

Obama rejected the bill hours after it was sent to the White House. Republicans passed the bill to increase pressure on Obama to approve the pipeline, a move the president said would circumvent a State Department process that will determine whether the project is in the U.S. national interest.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Peter Cooney)