Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senators eager for Romney to join them Five hurdles to a big DACA and border deal Grand jury indicts Maryland executive in Uranium One deal: report MORE (R-Iowa) said Tuesday that Canada is "smarter" than the United States because it is developing its energy resources despite climate change concerns.

Grassley was speaking about Canada’s determination to pump crude oil from its tar sands regardless of whether the United States agrees to build the Keystone XL pipeline that would transfer that oil to U.S. refineries along the Gulf Coast.

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“They’re smarter than we are,” Grassley said on the Senate floor. “They’ve made a national decision that they’re going to harvest their nation’s energy resources.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.) announced Tuesday that he was in talks with Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenGOP anxious with Trump on trade GOP lawmakers to Trump: Don't fire Mueller Government needs to help small businesses follow regulations MORE (R-N.D.) — the author of a bill to congressionally approve the pipeline construction — to allow a vote on his measure as an amendment to an energy efficiency bill expected to hit the floor next week.

Hoeven and several other Republicans came to the Senate floor Tuesday to discuss the benefits of building the pipeline, which the Obama administration has delayed for more than five years. 

“We’re asking quite simply for a vote,” Hoeven said. “It is Congress’s responsibility to take a stand. … As part of [the energy efficiency bill] we’re going to require a vote on Keystone XL pipeline and everybody can decide where they stand.”

Hoeven said that under the foreign commerce clause of the Constitution, Congress has the authority to bypass the administration and approve construction of the pipeline. 

The administration has delayed action because of concerns from environmentalists who worry about the effect a spill and more fossil fuel consumption will have on the environment.

“The president is clearly acquiescing to environmentalists,” Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants DOJ wades into archdiocese fight for ads on DC buses Overnight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector MORE (R-Ala.) said.