What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Oil & Gas Industry : CLEAN Energy Act (H.R. 6)/Motion to invoke cloture (limiting debate and bringing to a vote) (2007 senate Roll Call 225)
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CLEAN Energy Act (H.R. 6)/Motion to invoke cloture (limiting debate and bringing to a vote)
senate Roll Call 225     Jun 21, 2007
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This was a second cloture vote on comprehensive energy legislation aiming to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. Republicans opposed to the bill brought up repeated cloture votes as a way to slow down consideration of the measure and tie up the chamber. (See also Roll Calls 211 and 224.)

Cloture is the only procedure in the Senate that restricts the amount of time a bill may be considered. Under Senate rules, cloture requires three-fifths of the chamber, normally 60 votes. In recent years, because of a highly contentious relationship between the two parties, such a supermajority has been required to handle much of the Senate's business because without cloture any member can threaten to hold the chamber's agenda hostage by refusing to turn over control of the floor, an act known as a filibuster.

The energy package would increase fuel-economy standards for vehicles to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 and mandate the use of 15 billion gallons of ethanol annually by 2015. The legislation also would create new efficiency standards for household appliances and federal buildings as well as promote new energy technologies, including wind energy, hybrid cars, so-called clean-coal technology and carbon-dioxide sequestration. The bill would also make price gouging in oil markets a federal crime during presidentially declared emergencies and subject the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to U.S. antitrust laws, both provisions that drew veto threats from President Bush.

This vote was on the motion to invoke cloture on the legislation, as amended, and how Senators voted essentially reflected their verdict on the underlying legislation. Democrats lauded the bill as a huge step forward in breaking the country's fossil fuel habit and taking responsible stewardship of the environment. Republicans objected primarily on the grounds that it focused energy policy in the wrong direction, namely by not giving sufficient support to finding new domestic sources of fossil fuels.

Nineteen Republicans crossed party lines and voted for cloture, and six Democrats broke ranks with their party to oppose it (including both Senators from Michigan, the headquarters of many car manufacturers). Thus, on a vote of 62 to 32, the Senate moved to end debate and bring up for a final vote energy legislation aiming to promote conservation and the use of renewable fuels with the goal of reducing the country's reliance on fossil fuels.

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