McConnell demands votes on energy amendments

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was “stunned” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is complaining about Republicans offering amendments.

“It’s been suggested that Republicans are creating a problem on the Portman-Shaheen bill because we’re insisting on amendments,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I’m stunned anyone would suggest that asking for amendments would be out of order.”

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McConnell said Republicans are simply asking for votes on four or five germane amendments to a bipartisan energy efficiency bill from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) currently on the floor.

Reid said Republicans are staging yet another filibuster because they cannot get their way.

“We’re now at more than 500 filibusters,” Reid said. “They do everything they can to stop us from progressing in this country.”

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 79-20 to end debate on the motion to proceed to S. 2262, but because Reid has said he won’t accept voting on any amendments Republicans are expected the block the bill for the second time in less than a year.

Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Reid is running things like a "dictator" by shutting Republicans' constituents out of the legislative process.

"He has the audacity to impugn our motives this morning, to insult the job we’re trying to do to represent our constituents and he calls that a filibuster," Cornyn said. "Give me a break."