Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRyan seeks to put stamp on GOP in Trump era Trump and Ryan to speak by phone Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ky.) is moving the upper chamber toward ending its debate on a wide-ranging energy reform proposal.
McConnell moves to wrap up energy bill
The Republican leader filed cloture Tuesday on the legislation from Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Lawmakers closing in on chemical safety deal GOP chair pushes Obama official on Arctic drilling plan McConnell touts 'Senate squad' in Wes Anderson-style video MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria CantwellDems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Moulitsas: Can Hillary pick Gillibrand as her veep? Yes. In conference, Senate energy bill must drop worst provisions, keep best MORE (D-Wash.) after senators rejected a slate of partisan amendments to the otherwise uncontroversial bill.
The move means senators will take a procedural vote on Thursday, with Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate GOP ties Iran sanctions fight to defense bill Senate votes to block financial adviser rule GOP mired in Zika dispute MORE (R-Texas) telling reporters, separately, that they hope to finish work on the bill that day as well.
But to make that happen, leadership will need to get a time agreement or consent from every senator to either speed up the votes or skip over procedural hurdles that could otherwise threaten to drag out consideration of the energy bill.
While senators have voted on dozens of amendments to the legislation, Democrats are pushing Republicans to include linking the proposal to the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich.
"[The] same Republicans that call for relief when their states face natural disasters are disparaging government action in Flint," Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOvernight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Wasserman Schultz fights to keep her job Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return MORE (D-Nev.) said from the floor on Tuesday. "I hope Senate Republicans will support our efforts to protect the people of Flint."
Senate Democrats have offered an amendment that would give up to $600 million in federal assistance, though some Republicans have raised concerns about tying what they view as a local issue to the energy bill.