Democratic News

LAST WEEK: The Senate requested a conference with the House on H.R. 6 and named its conferees: Sens. Domenici, Craig, Thomas, Alexander, Murkowski, Burr, Bingaman, Akaka, Dorgan, Wyden and Johnson from the Energy Committee; and Sens. Grassley, Hatch and Baucus from the Finance Committee.

 NEXT WEEK: The House is expected to appoint conferees sometime after it reconvenes on Monday.  Appointment of conferees for the House is more complicated than in the Senate because so many House committees want to be represented on the conference and the House Parliamentarian has to sort out jurisdictional equities.  Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who in the natural order of things is expected to chair the conference, hopes that will have occurred in time to convene the first meeting of the conferees next week, we’re told.

 THIS WEEK:  Prior to that initial meeting, Sens. Domenici and Bingaman and Reps. Barton and Dingell directed their committee staffs to get together over recess and begin identifying differences and similarities between the House-passed energy bill and the Senate-passed amendment to that bill.  Starting yesterday, staffs from both bodies began those daily discussions.

 (House-Senate conferences, typically, are not as transparent as the floor.  For folks like Marnie and me, this is when the going gets tough.  We’ll do our best to help you.  But we’re not going to have an answer for every question, so please be gentle!)

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Bill Wicker

Democratic Communications Director

Senate Energy & Natural Resources

202.224.5243