The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to force approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which President Obama is certain to veto in his first official clash with the new Republican-majority Congress.
The five-year fight over the Keystone pipeline has become a proxy symbol for far broader fights over climate change, energy and the economy, and for the conflict between Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans.
When Republicans won control of the Senate late last year, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the new majority leader, chose the Keystone bill as the first measure Republicans would send to Mr. Obama.
The White House promptly declared that Mr. Obama would veto the measure — which would force the approval of a proposed 1,179-mile oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico — in a stroke of the pen that is expected to be the opening shot in a series of vetoes of Republican measures.
The Senate voted 62 to 36 in favor of building the pipeline.