Shaheen: Energy-efficiency bill could hit Senate floor soon

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) displayed confidence Wednesday that her bipartisan energy-efficiency legislation would be brought to the Senate floor by the end of the year.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), was briefly debated on the floor before the 16-day government shutdown, but stalled. This is the second stab at pushing the legislation through this year.

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Shaheen told an audience of industry leaders on Capitol Hill that  15 amendments to the bill have been cleared by both sides of the Senate's energy committee.

"This is a bill that could actually be passed by both houses of Congress," Shaheen said.

"This is something we can do now, this year, to help us progress on energy."

Shaheen said they are close to what they think is a filibuster-proof majority for the bill.

For an embattled Congress, that agrees on little energy policy, Shaheen touted her bill with Portman -- the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.

Despite a similar version of the bill last year falling victim to a disagreement between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Shaheen remained optimistic that its time had come in the Senate.

Lawmakers "have said to Senator Portman and me is that they think the road to other energy legislation, the road to additional energy policy, goes through Shaheen-Portman," Shaheen said on Wednesday.

"If we can't do this then it will be very difficult to do anything else on energy policy in this country."