The Senate is prepared to recess until after the November elections, at which time they will reconvene for a lame-duck session beginning November 15. At the top of Senator Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) wish list would be for the Senate to take up the RES legislation he introduced last week. Bingaman’s desire to have the legislation hit the floor will most likely be thwarted by three things: the results of the November elections, the inability to obtain 60 “yes” votes and the controversial nature of the legislation.
There are already measures lined up that will receive attention, including the tax bill and the omnibus spending bill, which may take up a lot of the lame-duck session. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill) recently said, “I think it's unlikely that we'll have time to take up a bill that is controversial; that would take a longer period of time.” Bingaman and other senators also hope to see other energy measures considered, including the manufacturing tax credit legislation, which would extend credits from the stimulus bill, and an oil spill response package. Signs appear to indicate that there would be trouble with passing these bills, so the likelihood of Bingaman succeeding in getting any of them to the floor could be slim.