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 LeeKushner saying immigration plan will be 'neutral' on legal admissions: report DHS plan for face scanning at airports sparks alarm Dem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment 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 FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (R-Ariz.) said.

Republicans also put forward a provision from Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoAfrica's women can change a continent: Will Ivanka give them her full support? Overnight Energy: Gillibrand offers bill to ban pesticide from school lunches | Interior secretary met tribal lawyer tied to Zinke casino dispute | Critics say EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care 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 WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Senators press drug industry 'middlemen' over high prices 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 SchatzAnti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age Hillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI 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 DurbinDurbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks McConnell: 'Past time' for immigration-border security deal 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.