Senator Bond expresses disappointment that a move to end debate on the energy bill fell two votes short of passage, leaving the bill stuck in the Senate. Opponents blocked an attempt to bring the bill up for a vote. The move fell two votes short, even though the official tally was 57-40. The Republican leader in the Senate switched his vote so he could move to reconsider the measure later. Bond says such a reconsideration will likely come Monday. Both Bond and Senator Talent says the bill is important to Missouri, because of the incentives it provides ethanol and bio-diesel producers. The bill, though, has attracted critics, both for its cost, projected at $33 billion, and how it was drafted. Democrats complain that Republicans locked them out of three months of negotiations between the House and Senate. The result was a 11-hundred page package with around 50 tax breaks. Talent calls the bio-diesel tax credit groundbreaking. Congress hasn’t passed an energy bill since 1992. This one has been three years in the making. Talent predicts the bill will pass easily if the debate can end so a vote can be taken. Bond says supporters will be working to convince two Senators to switch votes, though he won’t make a prediction on whether the effort will succeed.
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