Bipartisan Support For Energy Reform May Be Waning

Date: April 13, 2016 Last Edit: April 14, 2016

Window To Pass Bipartisan Energy Measure Said To Be Narrowing

Though there has been much talk of pushing energy reform through Congress, The Hill reports that hopes for bipartisan reforms are dimming as the year progresses. Work on a bipartisan energy bill began in 2014, The Hill says, with House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and her panel’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). In the summer of 2015, a House Energy Committee subcommittee “unanimously approved a watered-down energy reform bill.” However, according to Upton, the measure became a lower priority in the Senate, making House members “restless.” Once the measure was put before a full House vote in December, just nine Democrats supported it, and the White House threatened a veto. Over in the Senate, Cantwell and Murkowski pressed ahead with crafting a broad energy reform measure, The Hill reports, and a 300-page measure passed a Senate committee 18-4. However, the crisis with Flint, Michigan’s drinking water became a focus in January as the Senate energy bill was headed to a full floor vote. When the measure was further altered by Democrats to attach provisions for funding for Flint to the bill, the measure stalled. The Hill characterizes both Republicans and Democrats as frustrated by the inability of energy reforms to pass, and industry observers “aren’t sure there is enough political will — or time on the calendar — to get something done.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Unfortunately, the inability of Congress to pass meaningful legislation has been a hallmark of the current Administration. Small businesses continue to suffer from legislative uncertainty due to a lack of political direction in Washington.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously covered Senate efforts to pass energy reform legislation.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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