The long-awaited Senate vote on the singularly named Employee Free Choice Act will continue to be awaited, it appears, thanks to a largely intraparty breakdown on H.R. 6, the energy bill. The Hill:
Senate Democrats yesterday were scrambling to prevent the sweeping energy overhaul bill, a top domestic priority, from crumbling amid growing regional divisions within their party and Republican concerns.
“The moment of truth on this energy bill is coming very shortly,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said.
Crucial test votes come today, when the Democrats will try to end debate on the bill, which would require automobiles to be more efficient, prohibit price-gouging, encourage conservation in federal buildings, ramp up the country’s use of biofuels and expand federal research on sequestering carbon dioxide underground. The Senate today also will try to end debate on a $32 billion energy tax package for renewable energy, which would be offset by new taxes imposed on oil and gas production.
We’re finding it hard to shed any tears for the energy bill, which is being dominated by grand government schemes to manage the energy component of the economy. (Like magical, mystical CAFE excesses, although some compromise appears possible.)
Meanwhile, there’s next to nothing about increasing access to America’s domestic energy supplies of coal, oil and natural gas. As for nuclear energy, it’s laudable that President Bush is visiting Browns Ferry Unit 1 today in Alabama, but Congress seems uninterested.
Oh, and the resurrection of the immigration reform bill is being confounded by the energy debate as well.
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