The 235 to 181 vote sends the measure to the Senate today. There, Republicans hope to strip it of tax increases on the oil industry and the renewable-source requirement before a final version goes to President Bush. The White House objects to the bill on multiple fronts, including the prospect of tax boosts on oil companies, saying Bush would veto it.
The regulatory issue was singled out by the Bush administration yesterday. A statement of policy from the Office of Management and Budget complained that the energy bill “leaves ambiguous the role” of the EPA. The administration wants the Transportation Department, which traditionally has been more sympathetic to automakers than has the EPA, to have the final say over fuel efficiency.
Energy bill filibuster: Failed, 53-42, to reach 60 votes needed to advance a House-passed bill (HR 6) establishing new U.S. energy policies and imposing $21 billion in taxes — including $13.5 billion on oil and gas firms — to pay for them. Republicans objected to the tax increases and mandate that electric utilities produce between 11 percent and 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. A yes vote supported the bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had to tamp down a threatened revolt by conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats, who were angered by tax increases in the bill that could endanger their political careers.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has called for a vote today to break off debate on the energy bill and move it to final passage. Senate Democratic leaders expressed strong support for the measure and will push hard for the 60 votes needed to break a threatened filibuster.
“We’ve got a chance, and
Oil industry officials said the impact of the House bill would have harmed energy supplies.
The constant efforts by our elected Democrats to pass bills that reflect the wishes of the American Majority get slapped down by an arrogantly corrupt president. Bush still has enough Republicans in his corporate pocket to water down any threat to his slimy oil buddies. Threats of veto intimidate Democrats into watering down or abandoning their own agendas. Senate Democrats can’t seem to move Bushies off their mark.