Can Congress pass a bipartisan energy bill?

The end of the year is right around the corner and, with another financial showdown set to begin, Congress has a lot to deal with before its holiday break. The news has been dominated in recent weeks by what some have called the disastrous rollout of Obamacare and the deficiencies, and subsequent repairs, of the website.

What has not gotten much notice, but deserves the attention of the entire country, is the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, proposed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). It has been five years since Congress has passed an energy bill, and the Shaheen-Portman bill has already failed twice due to unrelated tacked-on amendments and the increasingly partisan atmosphere of the nation's capital.

Though, even with the partial government shutdown in the not so distant past and the ongoing battles over the Affordable Care Act, Senator Portman seems confident that the bill can pass through the Senate with no issues in the limited time Congress has left in its term.

Senator Portman told reporters, "The primary roadblock is finding floor time. We've already had good debates, and we took it to the floor earlier."

Senator Shaheen said in a statement that, should their energy efficiency bill fail a third time, there will be little hope to pass any kind of major legislation, "If we can't do this, it's going to be very difficult to do anything else on energy policy in this country."

Even if the bill were to pass through the Senate, its fate in the Republican-controlled House remains dismal.

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