Biden jokes outlook for energy bill 'excellent'

Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Biden rips Trump transgender ban: Every qualified American should be allowed to serve Clinton book to double down on Russia, Comey message 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 McConnellMitch McConnellDems don’t want to help GOP improve repeal bill Bipartisan group of governors call on GOP to reject skinny repeal Dems get CBO scores on what they think skinny bill will look like 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 KerryObama cyber czar: Trump State Department needs cybersecurity office Kerry on Trump’s military transgender ban: ‘We’re better than this’ Senators who have felt McCain's wrath talk of their respect for him 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."