Wyden: “The Reality is We Could Have Already Had a Vote” on Energy Efficiency Bill, GOP Amendments

Obstruction, Endless Amendment Requests Are Stalling Bipartisan Bill

September 19, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said endless, unreasonable amendment requests are blocking votes on the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, in a Senate floor speech this morning.

Democratic leaders have already offered to allow votes on controversial amendments related to the Affordable Care Act and the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as all related energy efficiency amendments, Wyden said. But GOP leaders are now insisting on many more unrelated amendments.

“The reality at this time is we could have had a vote, Mr. President, already on the amendment offered by the senator from Louisiana … if colleagues on his side had not insisted on all these other amendments not related to energy efficiency,” Wyden said. “We could have already finished this debate with relevant amendments.”

View Wyden’s full remarks here.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is the Platonic ideal of what bipartisan consensus legislation should be,” Wyden said of the bill, which would create an estimated 164,000 jobs by 2030, while making the U.S. economy more competitive.

The bill, by Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would encourage voluntary energy efficiency improvements for homes and businesses, without any government mandates.