The Senate Energy Committee on Thursday easily passed a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, pushing the new Republican Congress one step closer to a clash with President Obama, who has said he will veto the measure.
The House is expected to pass its version of the bill on Friday, and the measure will head to the Senate floor for debate next week. The Senate is expected to pass it in the coming weeks, sending it to Mr. Obama to sign.
Mr. Obama has said that he will wait to make a final decision on the project until a Nebraska court case on the pipeline’s route through that state is resolved, and until the State Department has completed an environmental review of the proposal.
The panel passed the bill in a 13 to 9 vote, with every Republican and one Democrat — West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III — voting in favor of the measure.