Reid to Have Procedural Vote on Republican Alternative Energy Bill

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Monday, August 02, 2010 at 3:44 pm

A Senate aide says lawmakers are working on an agreement that could clear the way for an initial procedural vote on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) energy and oil spill response bill, as well as for the Republican alternative oil spill response bill. It’s unlikely either will pass, and the vote on the alternative will allow Democrats to show that Republicans who oppose Reid’s bill don’t have enough support for their proposal, either.

“If an agreement can be reached, we could have these votes Wednesday,” the aide says.

A lobbyist sends this additional detail: If the cloture votes on Reid’s bill and the Republican bill fail (as many on the Hill expect), the Senate could bring up the House oil spill response package. Though the House package includes the controversial language removing the cap on a company’s oil spill liability, it does not include any energy-related provisions, like a proposal to force companies to disclose the chemicals they use during natural gas “fracking.”

But the lobbyist warns that prospects don’t look good for any of these options. “In either case, does not sound promising for real action,” the lobbyist says.

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