Cloakroom: Tilting at Windmills… and Everything Else Edition

Senate Cloakroom: March 12 – March 16

Analysis: This week the Senate should wrap up their protracted consideration of their highway and mass transit spending reauthorization.  The focus next week will be on a series of amendments including a real solution to our transportation funding mess and the creation, extension and elimination of energy subsidies.  Sen. DeMint (R-SC) is leading the conservative policy charge on this bill.  His transportation related amendment would return the responsibility for transportation funding to the states so they are able to control their own infrastructure financing and spending priorities.  Sen. DeMint’s second amendment would eliminate all energy subsidies in the form of tax credits so that the most economically viable energy technologies can thrive rather than those with the most political influence.  Sen. Stabenow’s (D-MI) amendment would continue the current slate of stimulus enhanced energy subsidies for the politically connected and the NAT GAS Act would create an entirely new set of subsidies for natural gas vehicles and fueling facilities.  The Senate is expected to complete work on the overall bill this week, but its fate from here is unclear in the House, a welcome sign that business as usual is less of the norm.

Major Floor Action: 

  • S 1813 – MAP-21 (Highway Bill)
    • #1812 – Stabenow Energy Subsidy Amendment
    • #1589 – DeMint Energy Subsidy Elimination Amendment
    • #1782 – Menendez/Burr NAT GAS Act
    • #1756 – DeMint Turn-Back Amendment 

Major Committee Action: 

The House is not in session this week.

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