- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Energy compromise elusive as recess looms
Question of the Day
Lawmakers failed again Wednesday to reach a compromise on how to address the rising cost of gasoline, with no deal in sight before Congress adjourns for its five-week summer break on Friday.
The impasse centers on Republican demands that any energy plan include a provision to expand domestic oil drilling to areas currently off-limits, including a wildlife reserve in northern Alaska and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Democrats oppose the idea, saying oil companies already have millions of available drilling acres on land they’re not using.
Senate Republicans Wednesday blocked a wide-ranging Democratic measure that would extend tax breaks to an array of renewable-energy entrepreneurs. The measure, which also called for tax breaks for teachers, businesses and parents, failed to proceed on a vote of 51-43, with 60 votes needed to end a filibuster.
And in the House, a Democratic proposal to counter oil-market speculation fell victim to the drilling dispute and failed by a vote of 276-151. The tally was nine votes short of the two-thirds needed for approval because the measure had been offered under expedited rules imposed by the Democrats to avoid Republican attempts to attach an offshore-drilling provision.
Senate Democrats said the tax breaks for renewable energy would lead to increased production of renewable-energy sources, such as wind, solar and battery power, and would lessen the nation’s dependency on oil. They added the bill would help create thousands of new jobs in the renewable-energy industry.
While Republican leaders said they generally supported the tax breaks, they opposed the bill in part because the tax credits would be offset with tax increases elsewhere in the budget.
But Republicans in both chambers opposed the measures in an attempt to pressure Democrats to bring Republican proposals to increase domestic oil drilling to the floor for a vote.
“This is no substitute for a real bill on drilling,” declared House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who accused Democrats of using the oil-market speculation measure to “divert attention” from their refusal to allow a vote on offshore oil drilling.
A potential deal in the Senate also broke down Wednesday after senators failed to agree on amendments attached to a proposed Democratic energy bill aimed at curbing excessive speculation in the petroleum futures market, which many experts say has contributed to rising gas prices at the pump.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, had earlier this week offered Republicans four amendments after Republicans requested dozens. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, on Wednesday said he agreed to the offer, but Mr. Reid denied a compromise had been reached.
“We’ve tried so hard to do something on energy. We’ve been trying for months,” said Mr. Reid. “But Republicans have basically rejected everything.”
Republicans said Democrats balked after calling their bluff, adding that Democratic leaders are afraid to allow a vote on any Republican proposal to increase domestic oil production because they fear many of their members would cross party lines and support such a measure.
“Democrats keep moving the goal posts,” said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart. “They can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”
But Democratic leaders accused Republicans of exploiting the energy crisis for political gain.
“Every time, the Republicans say they’ll accept something, but every time you get down in the weeds, they want five or six more” things, said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.
cThis article is based in part on wire service reports.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat
Latest Blog Entries
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- DCCC raising money on suggestion Obama impeachment is imminent
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq