Energy industry executives say stopping the pipeline will not slow Canadian crude from reaching the world market and will prolong U.S. reliance on imports from less stable suppliers.
As stand-alone legislation, it would force Obama to either approve or reject the long-stalled plan. Attached to a must-pass but unrelated bill, it would put Obama in the uncomfortable position of either vetoing important legislation or accepting a congressional measure.
It is not uncommon for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that contains unrelated provisions. Such measures have a better chance of being included in unrelated bills if they are broadly popular or have the backing of House and Senate leaders.
Republican Senator John Hoeven, an Energy Committee member from North Dakota, said that were at least 57 votes for Keystone now and he expected to have more after the mid-terms.