But the spill and energy plan appears to lack the 60 votes needed to proceed amid opposition from Republicans and several Democrats, so Reid will likely have to set it aside to make way for consideration of Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. The Kagan debate will be the last thing senators will do before breaking for the summer, Manley said.
Republicans accuse Democrats of trying to ram a politically motivated plan through the Senate at the last minute. They particularly object to language that would retroactively remove a liability cap for oil and gas companies to cover BP’s role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and responsible parties in future spills.
Democratic leaders say Republicans have stalled so many measures this year that they were left with little time to push the spill bill before the August recess.