03/04/2015 03:16 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT

U.S. Senate fails to override Obama's Keystone XL veto

Republicans have failed to muster enough votes to overrule U.S. President Barack Obama's recent veto of a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

A vote that would have overridden Obama's recent veto lost 62-37 on Wednesday. The move was not a surprise — proponents of the bill had telegraphed in advance that they doubted they had the two-thirds majority that would have overruled his decision.

The $8 billion, 1,800-kilometre pipeline, proposed by the TransCanada Corporation, would bring 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast every day. It is proving to be one of the major political footballs of the year leading up to the 2016 presidential election, when there will be someone new elected to the White House.

The bill would have effectively taken the decision on the pipeline out of the president's hands. Obama, meanwhile, has said that the bill circumvented the well-established process for approving cross-border pipelines, which must be determined to be in the national interest.