Senate rejects partisan amendments to energy bill

Senate rejects partisan amendments to energy bill
© Getty Images

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 LeeBipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs McConnell shores up GOP support for coronavirus package McConnell tries to unify GOP 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 FlakeHow fast population growth made Arizona a swing state Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Republican former Michigan governor says he's voting for Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) said.

Republicans also put forward a provision from Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate to push funding bill vote up against shutdown deadline The conservative case for phasing out hydrofluorocarbons GOP senator attacks Biden: 'I'm not sure what he recalls' 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 WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Feinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Hillicon Valley: Murky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role | Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias | House approves bill making hacking federal voting systems a crime 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 SchatzCDC causes new storm by pulling coronavirus guidance Overnight Health Care: CDC pulls revised guidance on coronavirus | Government watchdog finds supply shortages are harming US response | As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral 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 DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Feinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death 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.