ENERGY ALERT: U.S. Senate fails to muster the votes to cut off debate and neutralize the threat of a filibuster of energy bill

    13 December 2007
    Earlier today, the Democratic majority of the U.S. Senate failed to muster the votes to cut off debate and neutralize the threat of a filibuster by opponents to the tax provisions in a much anticipated energy bill.  The filibuster threat centered on the bill's $21 billion tax title that would increase taxes for the five largest oil companies.  The procedural vote to end the debate and invoke cloture failed by one vote, 59-40.

    After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Reid said he would remove the tax title and call the bill back up for a vote as soon as this afternoon.  The remaining bill provisions would raise the fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, promote energy efficiency in numerous ways, and mandate a substantial expansion of biofuels.  The House of Representatives is considered likely to take up and pass the revised Senate bill.

    Because the version of the energy bill likely to emerge from the Senate and House removed most, but not all, of the objections articulated by the President - it is unclear whether the President will sign the revised legislation.