Senate rejects partisan amendments to energy bill

Senate rejects partisan amendments to energy bill
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The Senate on Tuesday voted against six amendments to its broad energy reform bill that pursued partisan priorities on political spending and conservation.

The amendments included Republican ones, such as a provision to limit the president’s power to designate national monuments, and Democratic ones, like requiring additional campaign finance disclosures from fossil fuel companies.

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In rejecting the amendments, the chamber kept up the goals of leaders and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to keep a bipartisan bill that would avoid turning off either party.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Health Care: Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid GOP senator: CBO moving the goalposts on ObamaCare mandate Cornyn: Senate GOP tax plan to be released Thursday MORE (R-Utah) sponsored the national monument amendment, which would give states and Congress veto power over the president’s ability to protect land from development.

“The amendment provides Congress and the applicable state legislatures a three-year window to approve presidentially declared national monuments, ensuring that land-use decisions finally have an input from the various states,” Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Flake on Moore defenders: 'This cannot be who we are' GOP senators raise concerns over tax plan MORE (R-Ariz.) said.

Republicans also put forward a provision from Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoThis week: GOP seeks to advance tax overhaul Dissent is democratic: Stop calling McCain, Corker, Flake RINOs The farm bill presents a chance to lighten the regulatory burden of farmers MORE (R-Wyo.) to expedite permitting for natural gas lines on federal land, which also got rejected.

“This is a commonsense solution that helps taxpayers, helps Indian country, helps our environment,” Barrasso said in defense of the measure.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseTech companies grilled over Russian election interference Hitting GOP, Dems pitch raising 401(k) caps Democrats double down on calls for Congress to protect Mueller MORE (D-R.I.) wanted to require fossil fuel companies to disclose big political donations that wouldn’t otherwise require disclosure, another provision that was rejected.

“I very much hope that consistent with past Republican support for sunshine and disclosure, we can get a bipartisan vote in favor of disclosure of the big money donors who are now putting secret money into our elections,” he said.

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzSEC nominees must not grant companies 'safe harbor' with buyback rule Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale Ex-Yahoo, Equifax execs hammered over massive hacks MORE (D-Hawaii) sponsored an amendment to end certain tax incentives that benefit fossil fuel companies, which the Senate voted down.

“If we're serious about creating a level playing field, then we should phase out incentives for fossil fuels as we phase them out for wind and solar power,” he said.

The Senate passed two amendments Tuesday to the bill by voice vote.

One from Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program MORE (D-Ill.) increases the science research funding the bill authorizes. The other, from Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), would create a program to educate landowners about land conservation programs available from the federal government.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is likely to file for cloture on the bill later Tuesday, which would line it up for a final vote on Thursday.