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 LeeMike LeeSenate feels pressure for summer healthcare vote Overnight Tech: FCC won't fine Colbert over Trump joke | Trump budget slashes science funding | Net neutrality comment period opens Overnight Healthcare: Divisions emerge in Senate over preexisting conditions 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 FlakeJeff FlakeAARP targets five GOP senators on healthcare GOP talks of narrowing ‘blue-slip’ rule for judges Republicans consumed by Trump-Comey saga MORE (R-Ariz.) said.

Republicans also put forward a provision from Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoWhite House looks to speed infrastructure pace Pressure is on for administration to release infrastructure plan Trump to nominate three to nuclear commission 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 WhitehouseDOJ pitches agreements to solve international data warrant woes Senators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets GOP rejects Dem effort to demand Trump’s tax returns 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 Schatz (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 DurbinDick DurbinDem senators accuse Trump of purposefully holding back information The GOP must fight against the Durbin amendment's price controls It’s time to rethink prisoner re-entry 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.