Senate Closes in on Energy Deal

Posted July 28, 2008 at 3:15pm

Late Monday afternoon and with only days to go before the August recess, Senate leaders may have struck a deal on energy legislation.

After Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a unanimous consent agreement that would allow four GOP amendments on the speculation bill, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled progress and said that he would consult with other GOP lawmakers to see if it was acceptable.

McConnell will discuss the issue with fellow GOP leaders at a 5 p.m. meeting, according to aides.

The four GOP amendments would address nuclear energy, drilling on the coast, lifting the Congressional ban on offshore drilling in certain areas and language sponsored by McConnell.

McConnell told reporters early Monday afternoon that Republicans would be unwilling to move to other legislation if the standoff with Reid over amendments continued. GOPers proved to be a thorn in Reid’s side throughout last week, as they blocked a bill dealing with a home heating assistance program on Saturday.

With only a few more days until Congress recesses for the summer, Reid’s offer indicates that in order for him to get some of his agenda approved, he will have to deal with his GOP colleagues.