A bill to pass the 40-year-old ban on US oil exports has been passed by the Senate Banking Committee.
The bill, which was sponsored by Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, passed 13 to 9.
The politician was the only person from the Democrats to vote for the measure.
An amendment was added by Republican Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania that would make Iran compensate US victims of Iranian backed terrorism.
Senator Jon Tester of Montana said the bill “was dead” because of the addition of the amendment by Toomey.
Tester said he thought relaxing the trade restriction could offer Montana – another big oil producing state- some benefits but that legislation to do so would have to be done in a way that
does not put jobs at oil refineries and in shipbuilding in danger.
The White House has said it opposes legislation to lift the ban at this time.
In addition it has threatened to veto any bill preventing the president from providing sanctions relief to Iran until $40billion in restitution has been paid to American victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.
A similar bill to lift the ban passed earlier in the year in the Senate Energy Committee.
This bill was only supported by one Democrat, Senator Lisa Murkowski of oil-producing Alaska, and the head of the panel.
Backers of the bill need six Democrats to pass the bill if all 53 Republicans vote for it.