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Energy savings bill fails amid election-year politics

WASHINGTON — A widely popular, bipartisan energy-savings bill fell victim in the Senate on Monday to election-year politics and the Obama administration's continued indecision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

A procedural motion to end debate and bring the measure to a floor vote without amendments fell five votes short of the 60 votes needed for approval.

The legislation would tighten efficiency guidelines for new federal buildings and provide tax incentives to make homes and commercial buildings more efficient.

It easily cleared a procedural hurdle last week but stalled after Republican demand for votes on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline and on new administration-proposed greenhouse gas limits for coal-burning power plants.

Republicans are united in favor of the pipeline and against the new power plant regulations, while Democrats are deeply divided on both.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used a parliamentary maneuver to block Senate votes on the pipeline and power plant rules as part of the energy-savings bill.

Reid said Monday that Republicans were "still seeking a ransom" on the energy bill by insisting on the Keystone amendment and other votes.

Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, called Reid's maneuver disappointing.

Energy savings bill fails amid election-year politics 05/12/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2014 9:55pm]
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