Both the farm and energy bills may be voted on by the U.S. Senate this week.
In a deal to get the farm bill to the Senate floor, both parties are allowed up to 20 amendments and debate will begin imediately. Voting is expected to begin today.
The Senate also may vote this week on the energy bill, if Democrats can amend the version blocked Friday (Dec. 7) by Republicans. One of the stumbling blocks is the renewable energy standard, a tax provision that would eliminate billions of dollars in tax breaks to the oil industry and a biofuels mandate, according to a Dow Jones report.
The House approved the energy bill on Dec. 6.
Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) told Dow Jones a pared-back bill could be voted on as early as next week.
The House bill would raise fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, the first increase in three decades; it would establish a nationwide renewable energy mandate and boost biofuel production to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022. Under a $21 billion tax provision, more than $13 billion in tax breaks to oil companies would be repealed to help fund renewable energy, biofuels, and energy efficiency.
(Sources: Dow Jones, DTN)