After Passage of Bipartisan Energy Legislation, Senate Begins Consideration of Appropriations Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding Senate action on the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act and the Senate’s legislative and appropriations process being restored under Republican leadership:

“This week we’ve seen what can be accomplished on behalf of the American people with a Senate that’s back to work under the Republican majority. We just passed two broad, bipartisan bills aimed at protecting consumers and modernizing our energy policies, respectively — and both bills take important steps to bolster national security too.

“The passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act yesterday marks the first broad energy legislation to move through the Senate since the Bush Administration. In the years since that time, our country ‘has gone from fearing oil and gas shortages to becoming the world’s leading producer of both fuels,’ as one paper put it.

“So it’s clear that this energy legislation is much-needed when it comes to bringing our aging infrastructure and policies in line with current — and future — demands.

“I want to thank the Energy Committee Chair, Senator Murkowski, and the Ranking Member, Senator Cantwell, for working to advance this bill.

“It’s important for our country. It will help Americans save more energy, produce more energy, and pay less for energy. And, to paraphrase Senator Murkowski, it’s another example of how the Senate is back to work.

“The Republican-led Senate has made important strides to get the legislative process functioning again. We know the impact that can have on restoring the appropriations process. We also know that cooperation is going to be important as we move forward.

“So it was good to see our Democratic colleagues recently pledge cooperation in the appropriations process, writing that this ‘is a win-win opportunity and we should seize it together.’

“I’ve been pleased to see the headway that’s already been made by the Appropriations Committee. The committee has held dozens of hearings so far and, later this morning, members will mark up two more of the 12 funding bills — adding to the two the committee already reported out unanimously. We’ll continue floor consideration of one of those unanimously endorsed measures today: the energy security and water infrastructure funding bill.

“The legislation before us includes provisions that impact each of our states. It will support our waterway infrastructure, boost energy innovation, and promote American competitiveness. It will strengthen national security and support our nuclear security program. It will also reduce wasteful spending.

“I appreciate the leadership of Senators Alexander and Feinstein on this bill and recognize the hard work and research that have gone into it. I also appreciate the Appropriations Chairman, Senator Cochran, for working with Senator Mikulski to move these appropriations bills through committee and to the floor.

“This is a responsible, bipartisan bill. It invests in the future of American energy and waterways. It will help keep our country safe. Let’s continue working today to advance it.”

Related Issues: Restoring the Senate, Back to Work, Appropriations, Energy