House Republicans pushed through a bill Wednesday to bypass the president to speed approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Democrats criticized the legislation as a blatant attempt to allow a foreign company to avoid environmental review.

The bill was approved, 241-175, largely along party lines.

Republicans said the measure was needed to ensure that the long-delayed pipeline, first proposed in 2008, is built.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., defended the House actions, even though the Keystone bill is unlikely to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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