Thursday, June 16, 2005

Energy Debate Resumes

[Note: This thread mainly contains updates on the Senate's energy bill discussions, but I've thrown in several Bolton tidbits as they've come up during the course of the debate. As of 6 p.m. Thursday, new Bolton updates are here.]

The Senate has begun its session for today, returning to the energy bill. No mention yet of Bolton, so stay tuned for any news on that front. Maria Cantwell's consumption reduction amendment is the pending business, and a vote on that could come shortly. Updates throughout the day.

[Update: Reid on Bolton: "We on this side of the aisle have been clear and consistent ... We are not going on a fishing expedition ... We have given two important areas that we want information on [NSA intercepts, and use of intelligence on Syria] ..." Roberts "completely ignored one important element of the information we're seeking on Syria." -- 9:58 a.m.]

[Update: After some back-and-forth between Domenici and Durbin about scheduling, Senator Durbin is making a positive statement about Cantwell's amendment, which is heading toward a vote sometime this morning. -- 10:11 a.m.]

[Update: Looks like we'll have another little while of debate on the Cantwell proposal - and one by Jeff Bingaman that would require 10% of U.S. electrical generation to come from renewable sources by 2020 - before any votes, so I'll wait until they're called before I update unless anything major gets said. At this point it's been mainly proponents of the Cantwell amendment speaking on it, although Domenici did attack it earlier for being a vague mandate with no plan behind it (in what seems to be an attempt to get enough support to pass it and claim symbolic victory). -- 10:46 a.m.]

[Update: After about an hour of actual debate on energy, the Senate is taking a break (they can't over-exert themselves, of course) so that Bill Frist and Hillary Clinton can engage in a colloquy about a bill they're jointly introducing that would allow for the creation of an electronically-shareable health record system. -- 11:40 a.m.]

[Update: Bingaman's back now, responding to criticisms of his amendment voiced a few minutes ago by Tennesee's Lamar Alexander. -- 11:42 a.m.]

[Update: There will be votes at 2:30 on the Bingaman and Cantwell amendments. Still hearing nothing about any Bolton vote as of yet. -- 1:45 p.m.]

[Update: Senator Dodd is now discussing Roberts' action from last night, noting that Democrats "owe the Senator from Kansas a debt of gratitude" for establishing the principle that Negroponte will verify if certain names were in the intercepts. "There is more than ample justification for the 36 names," in addition to the information requested on Syria. He notes that some of the names Roberts requested were not on the list submitted by Democrats, and that mentioning the names publicly may have been a grave mistake. "I'm still hopeful this matter can be resolved ... but as a matter of insitutional rights, we have I think an absolute right ... to obtain the information we've requested." -- 2:23 p.m.]

[Update: Cantwell amendment fails 47-53. Roll call here. Bingaman amendment vote next. -- 3:00 p.m.

[Update: Bingaman amendment, requiring 10% of U.S. electrical generation to come from renewable sources by 2020, passes 52-48. Roll call here. -- 3:25 p.m.]

[Update: Just came back after a little while away from the feed; looks like the Senate has moved away from the energy bill for the time being after the roll call votes on the Cantwell and Bingaman amendments. The AP has this on passage of the Bingaman amendment, which could prove a sticking point later in negotiations with the House. That roll call is quite interesting: Republicans Collins, Ensign, Smith, Snowe and Specter voted with most Democrats; Dems Byrd and Nelson (NE) voted against the amendment.

Of course there was also movement on the Bolton front while I was gone; more on that here, with updates as necessary. -- 5:45 p.m.]


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