Baucus and Tester said provisions in the Defense Authorization bill, added in committee, would limit the military's ability to purchase American-made fuel, which they said would harm job growth, especially in their state, where biofuels are produced.

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"Powering our military with American-made energy makes our country safer and our economy stronger," Baucus said. "Tying our hands and forcing the American military to depend on foreign oil is short-sighted and dangerous. Instead, we need to give our commanders the flexibility to power our military with homegrown energy ... that supports jobs right here in America."

A bipartisan group of 38 senators, including Tester and Baucus, sent Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMnuchin: Tax reform shouldn't add to the deficit Trump taps NY Jets owner to be UK Ambassador Trump applauds congressional allies as he kicks off inaugural festivities MORE (R-Ky.) a letter late last week requesting a vote on the defense bill, but also expressing support for domestic fuel alternative programs in the Department of Defense (DOD).

“DOD is the largest single user of oil in the world, consuming more than 355,000 barrels of oil per day in Fiscal Year 2011,” the letter stated. “Despite increased domestic production of traditional fossil fuels, rising global oil prices and market volatility caused DOD’s fuel bill to rise to more than $19 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. … Alternative fuels will not supplant fossil fuels entirely; however, replacing even a fraction of the fuel consumed by DOD with domestic alternative fuels, has the potential to advance U.S. national security, improve strategic flexibility, and insulate the defense budget against future spikes in the cost of fossil fuels.”

Reid tried to bring the Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, up for consideration before the Senate left for Thanksgiving break, but Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulDems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Trump team prepares dramatic cuts Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy MORE (R-Ky.) is filibustering the bill until he gets a vote on his amendment. Paul is pushing for a vote on an amendment reaffirming opposition to the indefinite detention of American citizens, but other senators had not agreed to take up that amendment. The defense authorization bill funds and directs U.S. military operations.

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