Sen. John McCains (R-Ariz.) refusal to allow the bill to be brought to the floor by unanimous consent has complicated prospects for the measure that would designate permanent parking spaces near outlets in Senate garages for recharging electric vehicles.
But even knowing that the bill wouldn’t mandate the purchase and installation of charging stations, McCain would not change his position to allow the bill to be passed without a recorded vote, Rogers said.
Bringing bills to the floor by unanimous consent is an effective way of moving noncontroversial bills through the pipeline. Bills that deal with the administrative side of Congress are generally not given a high priority and are rarely given much time for debate on the floor.
“It’s a shame Republicans continue to obstruct common-sense measures like this one,” said Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev). He would not comment on the possibility of making time for a floor debate on the bill.
Levin, in a brief interview with Roll Call last week, seemed resigned to the reality of the situation.
“I mean, it’s a bill that has no cost to government,” Levin said. “So if it gets cleared, it’s fine. If not, so be it.”
The American Public Gas Association and Natural Gas Vehicles for America have also weighed in, telling Roll Call that the measure sends a message that Congress favors one fuel source over another.
While they would prefer to see the bill go down, the groups have indicated that they have bigger fish to fry.
“The industry is not going to be made or broken by whether or not the Capitol favors natural gas vehicles,” NGVA President Richard Kolodziej said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.