First bill in GOP-controlled Senate seeks to approve Keystone oil pipeline, test president

EnergyAssociated Press

The Republican-controlled Senate's first piece of legislation will seek to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, testing President Barack Obama on a project he's been increasingly critical about, saying it wouldn't have a huge benefit for U.S. consumers.

The bipartisan legislation, which is sponsored by 54 Republicans and six Democrats, was expected to be introduced later Tuesday. Supporters said they had 63 votes in favor of the bill, enough to overcome a filibuster but not a presidential veto. The House is expected to vote and pass a bill approving the pipeline Friday.

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The bill is identical to one that fell a single vote shy of passage in November, when Democrats controlled the Senate and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana pushed for a vote to save her Senate seat. She lost.