Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 293-127, passed a transportation funding bill that includes a rider on the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline. The measure would remove presidential authority over the pipeline.
U.S. President Barack Obama rejected what he said was an arbitrary deadline for the pipeline's approval in a similar measure that arrived on his desk early this year. He threatened to veto the transportation bill if it was sent to him with the Keystone XL provision.
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., said the bureaucratic process could potentially lead to higher unemployment numbers and strike a blow to U.S. energy security.
"The American people clearly understand that affordable and reliable oil from Canada via the Keystone XL pipeline is good for private job creation, gas prices, and energy security," he said in a statement.
Lugar said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he would "help in any way I can" to ensure the measure fails.
Keystone XL would need federal approval because it's route would cross the U.S.-Canadian border. Project planning is stalled, however, as Nebraska lawmakers and TransCanada, the company behind the project, consider an alternative route through the state.