Biden jokes outlook for energy bill 'excellent'

Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states MORE said Thursday he thinks the Senate will pass an energy bill this year "that's real."

When asked what the outlook was for getting an energy bill, one with carbon cap-and-trade included, the vice president deadpanned: "Excellent."

"I think we're going to get an energy bill," Biden said. "I think we're going to get an energy bill that's real."

Still, Biden acknowledged that it will be difficult to get a bill out of the Senate. Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.), who has accused the White House of using the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to pass a "national energy tax," has declared cap-and-trade dead in the Senate.

"It's going to be difficult. It's going to be hard," Biden said. "The House has already passed a really good bill.

"I used to joke when I was a senator, and some of you who covered the Senate remember these kind of phrases. I used to say, you know, 'say it's going to happen; this is going to pass,'" Biden said. "'Well, how do you know?' And I say, 'I don't know, but I'll tell you when the horses smell the water.'"

Biden said there is a "clear consensus" on Capitol Hill that "they've got to do something to deal with the amount of carbon that we emit into the air and the amount of oil we consume from abroad."

"And so based on the fact the House has already acted and there are serious people like John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE and others working on coming up with a Senate bill, I believe that there is a clear possibility we'll get a solid bill," Biden said. "But beyond putting odds on it, it's just — it's just very hard to do right now."