Congress is back for all or part of one week, and then are likely gone for the year. All legislation not passed by both houses and signed into law in this, the waning days of the 109th, start from scratch in January when the 110th convenes.
Among the items on their “to do” list is the energy bill. You’ll remember that both the House and Senate passed bills that will at last open a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf to exploration. Recall that no other country would be as crazy to put their own energy off limits while they paid the highest costs in the world. The US alone has that distinction.
The House and Senate bills differed and so they had to go to conference to be reconciled. That never happened, so it looks like the House will take up the Senate bill this week. If the House bill passes the Senate bill, then there is no need for any conference, so it short-circuits the entire process. However, under the rules, (it’s on the “Suspension” calendar — don’t ask) they will likely need the vote of not just a simple majority but of two-thirds of those present to pass.
They are this close to getting it done. Please click here to drop a note to your Representative. Even if you’ve done it before (and we know a bunch of you have), you must weigh in again. Tell them to vote for the energy bill and show America that they are listening and that they intend to do something to keep US manufacturers competitive with the rest of the world.
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