Reid Punts Spill Bill to September
It looks like we won't even get to see some nasty partisan bickering on the floor of the Senate over the spill bill on Wednesday. Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated that he won't bring the package up for a vote before senators head home this week.
At a press conference Tuesday, Reid told reporters he would not bring the bill up for a procedural vote tomorrow. He blamed Republicans for the delay, calling it "a sad day when you can’t find a handful of Republicans to support a bill" dealing with the Gulf oil disaster. "We had planned a vote tomorrow on our energy plan," Reid said. "But it’s clear that Republicans remain determined to stand in the way of everything."
But Republicans were also quick to point out that his own party wasn't lined up behind the bill. "The truth is Republicans offered a better alternative that was attracting Democratic support, so the majority leader pulled his bill rather than be embarrassed by a vote in favor of the Republican bill," said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, in an email to reporters.
"You can't blame Republicans when you refuse to even have a vote," Dillon continued.
Reid said "several key Republicans have said they need more time to consider our bill and its merits," and that the deal would give them that time. The measure is expected to be brought up again in September.