Portman: 'Good chance' Senate will take up efficiency bill in January

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller GOP senator wears shirt honoring Otto Warmbier at Korean DMZ On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism' MORE (R-Ohio) said on Wednesday that there is a "good chance" the new GOP majority will bring forward his energy efficiency bill as early as January.

The efficiency bill, co-sponsored by Portman and Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenNew Hampshire senator to ask 2020 Dems to back repeal of state residency law Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 William Barr is right to investigate FBI actions during 2016 campaign MORE (D-N.H.), came to the floor twice in the past year but failed both times due to stalemates between the two parties.

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"I think there is a very good chance we will bring that up in January," Portman said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.

The second time the bill reached the floor, talks to attach a binding vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline crumbled, but Portman thinks that could change with the GOP majority in charge next year.

"And in the past, we have talked about the combining the two," Portman said of efficiency and Keystone legislation. "It makes a lot of sense."

"I'm excited about it, getting this majority and doing some things," Portman added.

The legislation is aimed at making residential, commercial and industrial buildings more efficient, and boost energy-saving practices at federal agencies, among other provisions.

Portman's comments come on the heels of the Senate failing Tuesday night to pass legislation that would have sent approval of  construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to the president's desk.

Republicans immediately vowed to bring the $8 billion oil sands project back to the floor early in 2015.