"What I want is some breathing space so we can take two years, so we can think together as a body and come together with an energy solution,” said Rockefeller. “I am ready for that. We need that time.”

But Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinDem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Senate expected to pass Russia sanctions bill for a second time MORE (D-M.D.) said the bill would harm domestic-energy interests.

"The uncertainty of a two-year delay is more than two years and puts American energy at a disadvantage to foreign energy companies," Cardin said.

Sen. Jim InhofeJames InhofeMcCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control Parliamentarian threatens deadly blow to GOP healthcare bill MORE (R-Okla.), who is a co-sponsor of the permanent ban, also criticized the plan, saying it simply delayed the inevitable.

"It doesn’t really accomplish anything. It just delays for two years,” said Inhofe. “If you are going to have a root canal, does it really help to wait two years?”