A Republican lawmaker said he expects a symbolic measure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline will be attached to the Senate's budget plan Friday, and that it will build support for a similar bill likely to be voted on later in the year.
Senator John Hoeven, from North Dakota, told reporters his amendment to allow Congress to approve the pipeline would be selected from hundreds of others for a vote, and that it had at least the 51 backers needed to pass.
TransCanada Corp's more than 800,000-barrel-per-day pipeline would link Canada's oil sands, the world's third richest oil deposit, to refineries in Texas.
Last week, Hoeven and Montana Democrat Max Baucus introduced a bill that would give Congress the power to approve the pipeline, taking it away from the Obama administration. There is a similar bill in the House of Representatives and both could be voted on later in the spring.