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.
What We're Following See More »
"The Justice Department inspector general referred its finding that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly misled investigators who were examining a media disclosure to the top federal prosecutor in D.C. to determine whether McCabe should be charged with a crime." The referral occurred "after the inspector general concluded McCabe had lied to investigators or his own boss, then-FBI Director James B. Comey, on four occasions, three of them under oath." The referral does "not necessarily mean McCabe will be charge with a crime ... although the report alleged that one of McCabe’s lies 'was done knowingly and intentionally.'"
A federal appeals court in Chicago "upheld a nationwide injunction against making federal grant funding contingent on cooperation with immigration enforcement." The three Republican appointees ruled that the Trump administration "exceeded its legal authority in trying to implement the new conditions without approval from Congress ... One judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, Reagan appointee Daniel Manion, said he would narrow the injunction solely to protect Chicago. However, the two other judges assigned to the case said the nationwide injunction appeared to be justified."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley "decided Thursday to delay markup" on a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller until next week. But he remains steadfast in his support for a committee vote, despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "pledge to kill it" if it gets to the floor.
North Korea has expressed its commitment to 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday. ... South Korea announced on Wednesday that it is considering how to change a decades-old armistice with North Korea into a peace agreement as it prepares for the North-South summit this month." The leaders of the respective countries are also expected to connect a phone line so they can communicate directly.
"California reached an agreement with the federal government that the state’s National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers, Gov. Jerry Brown said. ... Brown said Wednesday he secured federal funding for terms similar to those outlined in last week’s proposed contract: The Guard cannot handle custody duties for anyone accused of immigration violations, build border barriers or have anything to do with immigration enforcement."