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.
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.
Sens. 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Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (D-N.C.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? 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MORE (D-Minn.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Jack ReedJack ReedSenate seeks deal on Trump nominees Senate seeks deal on Trump nominees Senate panel easily approves waiver for Mattis MORE (D-R.I.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalDem senator: Trump nominees 'sad' Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Senate panel approves Mattis for Defense secretary MORE (D-Conn.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyLive coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing Senate Democrats brace for Trump era MORE Jr. (D-Pa.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerThe Hill's 12:30 Report Why Democrats fear a successful inaugural address from Trump CBO: 18 million could lose coverage after ObamaCare repeal MORE (D-N.Y.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.), Ben CardinBen CardinDem senators to Trump pick: Probe if adviser violated Russia sanctions Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Top Dem: Don’t bring Tillerson floor vote if he doesn’t pass committee MORE (D-Md.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate swears in new members Van Hollen lands seat on Banking Committee MORE (D-Md.) also signed the letter.