Energy Bill Stalls in Senate
The U.S. Senate has blocked a comprehensive energy bill, with Republicans arguing that the measure is too far reaching.
On Dec. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act (H.R. 6)
received a 235-to-181 House approval, with 14 Republicans voting for it
and 7 Democrats voting against. The following day, the Senate provided
the bill 53 "yes" votes -- 7 short of the number needed to advance it.
If the bill is to move forward, Democrats will be have to negotiate
with the Republicans, which is likely to result in a scaled-back energy
bill. Republicans are strongly opposed to a $21 billion tax package in
the House-passed bill, as well as a requirement for electric utilities
to generate 15 percent of their power by renewable energy such as wind
"The Democrat leadership started with a bipartisan agreement that
could be passed in both houses and signed by the president. In other
words, it could become law. They've chosen, instead, to add the twin
millstones of utility rate hikes and massive tax increases," said Sen.
Mitch McConnell (R-KY). "The end result is that the House passed a bill
-- but it won't become law."
For more information on the bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov, a Web site of the Library of Congress.