Shaheen-Portman energy bill to be reintroduced in the Senate

Last year, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an energy legislation bill known officially as the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, but commonly referred to as Shaheen-Portman. The bill was intended to reduce the overall energy consumption of the United States while working to increase our use of renewable energy sources. The proposed law became controversial when it was first introduced in the Senate, and Republicans immediately weighed it down with amendments that were not even related to the bill. Most notably, Senate Republicans attempted to use the Shaheen-Portman bill as a way to defund Obamacare.

This week, Senators Portman and Shaheen have finished crafting the latest version of their key legislation which includes 10 provisions that were not previously included. Sources indicate that Shaheen and Portman are going to reintroduce the bill to the Senate as early as Thursday, and the additional amendments to the law all have at least one Republican co-sponsor, meaning the bill has more than the 60 votes required to avoid a filibuster.

While the bill might be able to avoid being filibustered, that does not mean it has a clear path to being passed. The toxic atmosphere of the Senate has stalled bills for year, with members of both parties often unwilling to reach across the aisle. Some Republican senators have indicated they would like additional amendments included in the bill and will not vote for the entire legislation without their amendments at least being considered for inclusion. Any agreement on the floor will have to be brokered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

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