AUGUSTA — A day ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Maine, the Republican-led state Senate has passed a resolution urging the president to support the completion of the Keystone Xl pipeline.

The nonbinding resolution passed 17-15 following a long, partisan debate, and still faces a House vote. It came up as Republican presidential candidates criticize the president for blocking the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. Obama says Congress refused to give his administration enough time review the project.

In Augusta, Senate supporters of the resolution say it will support thousands of jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil as fuel prices remain high.

Democrats dismissed the measure as an election-year political gimmick.

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