Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked the first bipartisan energy bill in almost a decade after majority Republicans balked over sending hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid to Flint, Mich., to fix the city’s lead-contaminated pipes.
Democrats pressed for swift help, pointing to the past, rapid response of Republicans to natural disasters in Texas and Florida. Republicans maintained that it was premature to send money until Michigan figures out what it needs and wrong to stall the energy bill.
Democrats proposed a $600 million aid package last week, but Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said they agreed this week to cut that proposal in half.
The Senate vote was 46-50, short of a number necessary to move ahead on the bill. It promotes a wide range of energy, from renewables to natural gas and hydropower.