Sanders, Dems push oil speculation vote on tax bill

“Millions of American consumers are hurting as a result of excessive speculation on the oil futures market, and the future of our economy hangs in the balance,” Sanders said in a statement last week.

The criticism has intensified amid the run-up in gasoline prices, which according to AAA now average $3.90 per gallon nationwide. Sanders’s co-sponsors on the amendment include Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal Feinstein pushes back on Trump’s N. Korea policy Feinstein on reelection bid: ‘We will see’ MORE (D-Calif.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterFive things to know about Sanders’s single-payer plan Where Dems stand on Sanders's single-payer bill Overnight Regulation: DeVos ignites backlash with rewrite of campus sexual assault policy l EPA power plant rule decision likely this fall | Panel approves Trump financial regulator nominees MORE (D-Mont.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGOP sees fresh opening with Dems’ single payer embrace Senators blast internet subsidy program It is time to make domestic terrorism a federal crime MORE (D-Mo.). Tester and McCaskill are running for reelection and are among the Senate Democrats most at risk of losing their seat in November, according to The Hill’s race ratings.

The amendment is one of a number that lawmakers will seek to attach to the oil tax break repeal bill.

Almost all Republicans oppose the underlying bill, which stands almost no chance of passage. But most voted Monday evening to allow debate to proceed on the measure.

Republicans say they welcome a chance to have a wide-ranging energy policy battle with Democrats. But the number of amendments that may receive votes, and which ones might be debated, remains unclear.

Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenAir Force One is Trump’s new boardroom Overnight Finance: Trump strikes debt, spending deal with Dems | Deal shocks GOP | Fed’s No. 2 to resign | Trump keeps tax squeeze on red state Dems | House aims to pass budget next week Trump praises Dem senator during tax speech MORE (R-N.D.) told reporters in the Capitol on Monday evening that Republicans are planning various amendments aimed at boosting energy supplies.

“We actually have a whole range of amendments we could bring up,” Hoeven said after the 92-4 vote that allowed the bill to move forward.

“It could be something like infrastructure, like Keystone,” he said of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project that Republicans are pushing. “It could be something like expanded access both onshore and offshore, it could be expedited permitting — all of these things will help us produce more energy.”