Congress Leaves Town With Much Left to Do


The House and Senate adjourned at the end of September after agreeing to a spending bill that averted a government shutdown – for now at least.  They’ll be back in session on Monday, Nov. 14, with much to do during a lame duck session, the least of which is to pass another spending bill.

Not a must do but something ELCON is pushing hard for is to extend the expiring tax credits for energy including combined heat and power. Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) said that he is not interested in dealing with tax extenders this year but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said they are.
ELCON is part of a broad-based coalition of groups working to extend all expiring provisions.  A letter signed by ELCON and 50 other groups supporting the tax extenders was sent to the Hill at the end of September and the coalition is planning other activities like fly-ins.  But it won’t be easy to get the Congress to act given the short time period involved and opposition to some of the provisions – not CHP – from some environmental, taxpayer, and free-market groups.

Also left to do before adjournment is a comprehensive energy bill.  A conference committee has been formed but it has only met once. There are sharp differences between the bills passed by the House (generally favors increased fossil fuel production) and the Senate (more conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy).  Neither sides appears ready to compromise.

Still, anything can happen in a lame duck.  Hold on.