POLITICS: PennAve

House passes energy-efficiency bill as Senate waits

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Congress,House of Representatives,PennAve,Energy and Environment,Zack Colman

The House passed energy-efficiency legislation Wednesday as a companion measure in the Senate remains stalled.

The bill from Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., which passed 375-36, is a scaled-back version of the legislation that is sitting in the upper chamber. The Alliance to Save Energy says the bill would curb annual energy costs $640 million by 2030 through, among other measures, directing the federal government to use less energy and creating voluntary efficiency codes for new buildings.

The onus is now on the Senate to move a similar bill from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. The lawmakers revived it last week with language from 10 bipartisan amendments -- including some sought by the GOP -- that Shaheen and Portman said helped rack up enough new co-sponsors to get 60 supporters.

But taking the bill to the floor still hinges on securing an agreement on amendments. A controversial measure on Obamacare derailed it when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., brought it up for debate last fall.

Portman told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday that Shaheen had told him a meeting with Reid went well, and that, "she thinks there's a good chance we're going to get on the floor based on her conversation."

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