Senate Democrats postpone efforts to pass energy bill

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Kitty Felde/KPCC

Barbara Boxer and Senate colleagues discuss stalled energy bill

US Senate Democratic leaders conceded today that they don’t have the votes to pass even a stripped down energy bill. California’s junior Senator points the finger at her Republican colleagues.

A year ago, House Democrats passed a major climate change bill. Senate Democrats didn’t have the votes for that, or even for a reduced version. Now, Senate leaders say they can’t muster the votes to pass a measure that would lift the liability cap on BP and other oil companies.

California Democrat Barbara Boxer has pushed for that. But Boxer admitted they don’t have the 60 votes they’ll need to overcome the threat of a GOP filibuster.

"Normally," she says, "You only need a majority. You know, Thomas Jefferson said 'what’s crucial in a democracy is a majority.' He didn’t say a super majority. But it is what it is and we will go seek out that vote."

The House passed a spill response bill last week. Senate Democrats say they’ll try again when they return from their summer recess.

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