A flurry of legislative activity over the weekend left a mixed bag of progress and surrender. While the House voted to require clean-energy standards for the first time and cut oil industry tax breaks, enough Democrats caved to the White House to pass the president’s preferred FISA rule changes.
Pushing to chart a new national energy policy, House Democrats on Saturday passed legislation that would require the nation’s utilities to generate more electricity from clean-energy sources, such as the wind and the sun.
And in another indicator of the changed political landscape on Capitol Hill, they stripped the oil and gas industries of $16 billion in tax incentives and voted to apply those tax breaks to efforts to spur production of cleaner forms of energy.
The energy measures passed in a final burst of activity before lawmakers were to adjourn for their summer recess this weekend.
Late Saturday, the House also modified the Foreign Intelligence Services Act. The changes, a concession to the White House that was strongly opposed by liberal Democrats, would expand the authority of U.S. spy agencies to monitor overseas phone calls and e-mails. The measure passed 227 to 183—with Republicans providing 186 of the “yes” votes.