Domenici plans to bring smaller bill to Senate floor later in February

In an effort to revive the stalled energy bill, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) says he plans to reduce the $30-billion package significantly. In a Feb. 2 statement, Domenici, the lead Senate negotiator on the bill, said, "I plan to trim the cost of this bill while keeping its core provisions intact."

Domenici plans to bring the smaller bill back to the Senate floor later in February.

The measure had an estimated $23.5 billion in tax breaks and $5.4 billion in direct federal spending, plus billions in loan guarantees and other funding. After clearing a House-Senate conference committee and then passing the full House, the measure ran aground in the Senate last November. One of the objections to the bill was its size--Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) said that the amount of tax breaks was about triple what President Bush had proposed. Other critics slammed the legislation for having too many projects benefiting special interests.

Domenici didn't specify which parts of the bill would be dropped or modified.

(Photo courtesy of office of Sen. Pete Domenici )