Acrimony Marks Impasse That Threatens To Derail Shaheen-Portman Bill
"It was supposed to be a few days of relative bipartisan bonhomie in the Senate: A modest but popular energy bill was on the floor. Though senators may have faced a tough vote or two on U.S. EPA rules or the Keystone XL pipeline, the bill was expected to make it across the finish line, demonstrating that at least one chamber of Congress could function."
"Instead, one Republican, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, decided to hijack the debate by demanding a vote on his wholly unrelated amendment taking renewed aim at the health care reform law. As a result, formal work on the efficiency bill from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) ground to a halt last week, and it seems doubtful that a solution can be found by the time the Senate reconvenes this afternoon.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned last week that he might have to pull the bill altogether because of the impasse -- and that was before the feud grew increasingly personal at the end of last week.
In public, Vitter was called an anarchist and a hostage taker. Privately, Democratic senators and aides were preparing to dredge up past allegations that Vitter frequented prostitutes, according to a Thursday night report posted by Politico."
SEE ALSO:Source: E&E Daily, 09/17/2013