The great Senate debate on postal overhaul legislation ain’t happening—definitely not today and possibly not until mid-April, after lawmakers return from a two-week spring break. Instead, the Senate is poised to lock horns for a while on a bill to repeal oil and gas industry tax breaks.
That’s not what many folks were expecting. In fact, dickering on the postal measure sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Ct., was reportedly continuing as late as this morning. The plan was this: Late this afternoon, the Senate would first take a procedural vote on whether to debate the oil and gas tax repeal legislation. That motion would fail in the face of Republican opposition and lawmakers would move on to the postal bill.
But Republicans—deciding that they would love the chance to talk about energy when gas is around $4-a-gallon—voted in favor of going ahead with the oil and gas legislation. For now, that means the Lieberman postal bill likely won’t come up until Wednesday at the earliest, a spokeswoman said. And with senators set to leave for the two-week “state work period” for Easter and Passover that kicks off next Monday, it could well be the week of April 16 before they get to it.
For readers in need of a reminder on what the Lieberman bill would do, here’s a link to an official synopsis. (And don’t forget, FedLine noted last week that everything in the Senate is subject to change.)