Destructive gridlock too often cripples Congress, and it frustrates me as much as anyone.
Congress shouldn’t be a place where good ideas with bipartisan support fail to move forward. If this election has taught us anything, it’s that Congress needs to get to work finding the kind of practical, bipartisan solutions that I’ve pushed for and that North Dakotans rightfully expect.
Earlier this year, I wrote a bill that most folks in North Dakota — and most folks in Congress — would agree with: The bill would put coal on a viable path forward by encouraging investment in technologies that drastically reduce emissions while making sure coal remains an affordable, reliable piece of our energy mix.
After introducing the bill in July, it quickly gained bipartisan support from a diverse group of lawmakers — spanning the ideological spectrum to include some of the most conservative and most liberal lawmakers. It also has broad backing from a growing list of coal companies, utilities, and environmental groups. Even Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a strong coal supporter who controls which bills get votes in the U.S. Senate, has come out in favor of the bill.
Since joining the U.S. Senate, I’ve worked hard to forge bipartisan consensus wherever I can, and especially on commonsense policies that benefit our state. That’s why I worked with Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska last year to successfully lift the decades-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil.
Now, I’m hopeful Congress can come together like we did last year — this time, to pass my bill extending and expanding the 45Q tax credit to find a path forward for coal-fired generation and make sure that coal remains a key part of our energy mix for decades to come.
With 20 Republicans and Democrats supporting my bill, there’s no good reason for Congress to sit on its hands and do nothing.
Partisan gridlock isn’t just frustrating — it also can quash ideas that I know would benefit our state. But if Congress works together in a bipartisan way as we have done on this bill, it should be able to reach real results that support North Dakota and the entire country. Now’s the time to get this bill across the finish line.
See the article here.
- On December 1, 2016