Thursday, July 14, 2016

GOP energy negotiator accuses Senate chair of 'bizarre' promise

A House chairman assigned to an energy bill conference committee said it was “a little bit bizarre” to hear a Senate Republican promise to cut provisions from the bill that could earn a presidential veto. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said it defeats the purpose of going to a joint House and Senate conference committee if Republicans are going to preemptively agree to remove controversial, conservative provisions from the bill. “As far as I understood, I was not privy to any conversations in which somebody made a deal that said this stuff will not be in or will be in,” Bishop told reporters Thursday. ”A conference is a conference. You handle it as a conference.” Senate negotiators — primarily the ranking members on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) — have said the energy bill conference committee should produce a bill that can get to President Obama for his signature this year. The statements mean, implicitly, that certain provisions are going to have to come out of the House-passed energy bill. Among the controversial provisions are GOP-backed measures to help relieve the California drought and prevent wildfires, for example...more

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