Capitol Hill (AP) Congress has sent president Bush legislation directing him to temporarily halt oil shipments into the government's emergency reserve.
Lawmakers hope that will lower energy prices. Final senate approval came late Wednesday without debate.
Bush has refused to halt the shipment of about 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the strategic petroleum reserve, saying it would have no impact on gasoline or crude oil prices.
Lawmakers acknowledged the suspension would be a “small step” to take in response to soaring oil prices. Still, the senate voted 97-to-1 to suspend the deliveries.
The government stockpile currently contains 701 million barrels of oil, enough to cover two months of oil imports. But by law, it can't be touched unless there are supply disruptions.