Shaheen Fights to Recharge Energy-Efficiency Bill

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 27: NARAL Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) speaks at a luncheon to mark the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. The lunch, hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America, was held to celebrate the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. 
National Journal
Dec. 17, 2013, 7:14 a.m.

With law­makers join­ing hands to pass a budget deal, could there be a push to ad­vance oth­er, less con­tro­ver­sial bi­par­tis­an bills?

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., the au­thor of an em­battled en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency bill, cer­tainly hopes so. 

“I’m op­tim­ist­ic that we can find a way for­ward,” Shaheen told Na­tion­al Journ­al in the Cap­it­ol on Tues­day, when asked about the status of the le­gis­la­tion.

Des­pite the fact that the meas­ure, which Shaheen co­sponsored with Sen. Rob Port­man, R-Ohio, has wide bi­par­tis­an sup­port, its pro­gress stalled in the fall when it be­came mired down in de­bate over the Af­ford­able Care Act and oth­er hot-but­ton is­sues un­re­lated to the le­gis­la­tion it­self. The bill con­tains in­cent­ives to speed ad­op­tion of en­ergy-ef­fi­cient tech­no­lo­gies in the com­mer­cial, res­id­en­tial, and in­dus­tri­al sec­tors as well as by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.

Shaheen and Port­man, along with their staffers, have been work­ing be­hind the scenes for the past few months, however, to win enough votes to in­voke clo­ture in the Sen­ate to cut off de­bate when the le­gis­la­tion is re­in­tro­duced.

That work, Shaheen said, is on­go­ing.

“We’ve se­cured a num­ber of votes,” she said. “And we’re work­ing on se­cur­ing a few more.”

Shaheen said that while she does not yet know when the le­gis­la­tion might be taken up again by the full Sen­ate, she is hop­ing to make an an­nounce­ment with Port­man on the Sen­ate floor this week re­gard­ing the meas­ure.

A Sen­ate aide said the an­nounce­ment has not yet been sched­uled but that the sen­at­or is hop­ing to high­light the pro­gress that’s been made to ad­vance the bill so far and press for ac­tion on the le­gis­la­tion next year.

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