Senate to vote on bills repealing oil tax breaks, expanding offshore drilling

The bill, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.), would require the Interior Department to hold lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia coast; would set a timeline for review of pending offshore permit applications; and would extend leases in the Gulf for one year, among other things.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger Tax reform is nightmare Déjà vu for Puerto Rico Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama MORE (D-Nev.) originally scheduled a test vote on the bill to repeal oil tax breaks for Wednesday.

But Reid filed cloture on the bill Monday night. The Hill’s Floor Action Blog notes that the bill will likely come up for a vote Tuesday around 6:15 p.m. based on Senate rules.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Senate nixes provision boosting conservative college after uproar Overnight Energy: Panel advances controversial Trump nominee | Ex-coal boss Blankenship to run for Senate | Dem commissioner joins energy regulator MORE (D-Ore.) said Monday night on the floor that Reid was forced to file cloture on the bill because Republicans had threatened to conduct a “silent filibuster” if he attempted to bring the legislation to the floor.

Expect Republicans to blast the tax breaks bill on the floor Tuesday for not lowering gas prices. Democrats will counter that the bill is not meant to provide relief at the pump, but to reduce the deficit.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says the bill will have no impact on gas prices.

Ben Geman and Josiah Ryan contributed to this story.