The Republican controlled Senate passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, prompting a showdown with President Barack Obama, who has promised to veto the legislation.
In a 62-36 vote, Republicans were able to peel away multiple Democrats from President Obama’s position on the pipeline, ensuring easy passage for the bill once it cleared a filibuster. If Obama vetoes the bill as promised, however, supporters do not have the 67 votes need to override his decision.
The pipeline was first proposed in 2008 and would carry oil 1,179 miles from Canada’s tar sands to Nebraska, where it would connect to an existing pipeline and continue traveling south.
“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said prior to voting. “It would support thousands of good American jobs and as the president’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.”
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