US SENATE: Energy could be ‘signature issue’ for fall — says Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid August 11, 2011Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
Tags: Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), Sen. Harry Reid, US Senate
Dear Readers: Just a friendly reminder that US Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources chaired by Sen. Jeff Bingham (D-NM). You may want to express your views and opinions on federal energy policy with Sen. Coats during the August recess. It can’t hurt.
Laura Ann Arnold
Katie Howell, E&E reporter
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will be looking for GOP cooperation to make energy policy a “signature issue” for the Senate this fall.
Reid’s comments today that the Senate will focus on job-creation legislation — including energy bills — echo those he made earlier this month before the chamber broke for a four-week recess.
“One of the things at the top of the list is energy jobs, and we’re going to try to see if we can get a little cooperation from the Republicans so we can make that one of our signature issues during the next couple of months,” Reid told reporters today during a conference call to promote the upcoming National Clean Energy Summit.
“I’m disappointed that we haven’t done better,” Reid added.
But he provided few details about what the energy jobs legislation would look like, and he stayed mum on whether any of it would come from the cache of legislation Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have pushed through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this year.
“That’s one of the few committees in the Senate where there has been really outstanding cooperation between the chairman and ranking member,” Reid said when asked about the prospect of including the panel’s energy bills in the jobs agenda. “They have some legislation that has been reported out of the committee.”
Bingaman indicated last week that he will push Democratic leaders to include some of the 14 reported energy bills as part of the jobs package.
Democrats in both the House and Senate are pushing the fall jobs agenda as they blast Republicans for blocking efforts to pass legislation earlier this year.
“We have been held up on everything, I’m sorry to say, by the Republicans,” Reid said. “We need to do more from the Washington level, and certainly we are going to try to do that. But it’s difficult with the backward-leaning House of Representatives we have.”
“I think that we’re going to have to focus on jobs, and I would hope that the Republicans will get off their kick of trying to do things that are message pieces of legislation and get to things that are very substantive,” he added.
Reid said the Senate will immediately vote on a patent reform measure when the chamber returns to Washington, D.C., in September. Then it will take up trade legislation and energy measures, Reid said.
“Every work period, we’re going to do jobs things,” Reid said.