Democratic News

Here’s the latest on the Senate energy bill, S.14 Amendments were expected today, but none were offered. That’s because the unanimous consent agreement governing the energy bill says that amendments are not in order until one day after the Committee Report has been made available. The Report was not available yesterday, so no amendment is in order today. That’s why we’re on a second day of debate-only. The Committee Report is now available, so amendments will be in order tomorrow – even though there will be no votes. Also available now is the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis (score) for S. 14. We have not yet received the Statement of Administration Position; however, the Senate Energy Committee’s Democratic staff has prepared a title-by-title summary, which can be viewed by opening the file attached to this message. Tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m., Majority Leader Frist is expected to lay down a first-degree amendment on ethanol (consisting of the EPW-reported bill, S. 791). There will be an opportunity for debate on that amendment and, once offered, that amendment will be open to amendment in the second degree. There will, though, be no votes on this or any other amendment to the energy bill until we get back on it next week. The expectation is that the Senate will resume consideration of S. 14 at mid-week, because of the Majority Leader’s desire to begin consideration of the tax bill. Under the Budget Act, there will be up to 20 hours of debate on that bill, followed by votes. Meanwhile, on the energy bill, GOP staff have expressed an intention to have the tax incentives amendment to the energy bill (S. 597) offered at a point later in the debate on the energy bill. We know that many of you now are focused on possible amendments. Suffice it to say that there have been discussions aplenty on areas in which Senators would like to offer floor amendments that would improve this Republican-crafted energy bill. Obvious opportunities include the electricity title, renewable fuels, climate policy, a renewable portfolio standard, vehicle fuel economy, hydroelectric dam relicensing and the Indian energy title. Stay tuned. # # #