(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Monday surprised Senate Republicans by offering them the chance to vote this week on four GOP-backed energy measures, including offshore drilling.
The Senate has been gridlocked for days on an energy bill, as both sides argue over which amendments will be allowed.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell, in an exchange with Reid on the senate floor, said he was “very encouraged” by the proposal but said he would have to confer with his leadership team before formally responding to the offer later in the day.
Reid said Democrats would allow votes on GOP amendments that would permit new drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf; the development of oil shale in western states; construction of new nuclear power plants; as well as a vote on broader legislation Republicans have dubbed “drill more, use less,” which includes offshore drilling, conservation initiatives, the development of battery technology, and language to curb speculation in the oil futures market.
Reid said Democrats would offer four of their own proposals, but did not specify what those would be.
He said all amendments would need 60 votes to pass, a threshold that could make it difficult for any of them to succeed.
Republicans, buoyed by recent polls showing a majority of Americans support new offshore drilling, have said they are confident they can get more than 50 senators to support expanded drilling, if not the 60 votes needed to pass.
The possible breakthrough comes days before Congress recesses for August and lawmakers return home to face constituents anxious for relief at the pumps
I wish the real republicans out there would stand up and tell this right wing radical movement to clear out! Our party has been taken over by fear, hate, and greed! I am no democrat but at least I do believe Sen Obama has the education and background to make sure our country survives the next for years then maybe we will have gotten rid of all these right wing extremist in our party and have a chance to put forth a candidate worthy of the title President! It sure as heck is not the chameleon Mc Cain
There now you have my vote.
I'm an old republican voting for Obama. I'm against any off shore drilling however I do think they should go ahead and let the oil companies have as many leases as they want. They won't drill. They have over 400 leases now that they are not drilling. Why should they! Big oil is making sooooo much money now, why should they take a chance and spend the money putting it into rigs or even new refinneries. Big oil has great profits. They won't drill. People, listen to Pickens, drilling won't get us out of this!!! We should have done what Brazil did 30 years ago!!! Off oil!! Wind, solar, etc. Anything that will lower our carbon footprint!
LETS' GO NOW GET THE VOTE RIGHT. WE NEED OFFSHORE DRILLING. I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S DARN WHAT OBAMA COMES UP WITH IT WOULD BE WRONG.
If offshore drilling is done, will we as Americans get to share in the profits like Bush said all Iraqis should share in their oil profits?
Hope the republican senators realizes they are working for the American people, not McCain.. Maybe something good will come out off this.. else we will remember when it is election time.. how many more seats do they wanna loose ??
JUST ONE SIMPLE STATEMENT;
NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE PRICE OF THE ARABS CHARGE FOR THEIR OIL ..... IFTHEY ARE NOT WILL TO DRILL IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD...
I SAY, "DRILL HERE FIRST AND LAST ... DRILL NOW."
The lines are forming in the sand. I think Reid is calling the republicans' bluffs and making all those in favor of off-shore drilling come out now before the elections.
Who is it that keeps saying we can't drill out of this one? Vote democratic to FINALLY invest in clean, renewable energy, transportation systems and the like to benefit ourselves and future generations!
About time you wised up Harry.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
The republicans just want to feed their gas guzzlers at a major cost to the entire world.
Anything to shut the GOP up huh.
Oh thanks Leader for giving us what we want....................oh but wait.................we want even more now.
Enough of these obstructionist Republicans.
It's time to give the Democrats total control, including 60 votes in the Senate, to see what they can do. If they don't produce then vote them out.
No more failed policies of the last 7 1/2 years.
This great nation deserves a change!
YES, WE CAN!
don't they all ready have 68 million acres they have not touched yet?
How can the Senate seriously consider a vote for off-shore drilling when the Mississippi is currently closed due to an OIL SPILL? What happen to the backbone to uphold something which was put in place because of the irresponsible actions of the oil industry... there was a decision made to STOP and new offshore drilling,,, this needs to be upheld.
NOT A GOOD IDEA – (1) look at the OIL SPILL that has taken place in Lousianna (2) California's structure is already unstable, EARTHQUAKES (3) It would underscore Florida's Tourist Attraction (Revenue)...Need other options for Energy Problem
We Are At Risk!!! The number one economic threat to this nation and our well-being is the price of a gallon of Gas. We as individuals and our nation are at risk. We have watched the price of gas sharply increase and to this day our Congress has done nothing or even indicates they have a plan. The quickest and most helpful thing Congress can do to reduce the price of gasoline right now is to lift the moratorium on drilling for oil in the U.S. and off shore. Drilling off shore can be done safely now! Drilling is one part of the necessary equation. This inaction by Congress is totally irresponsible and political and we are the ones paying a heavy price. We can no longer remain silent and contain our anger. It's time we (you and I) start taking action. Speak out and demonstrate our anger! The sooner we get started, the quicker we will see results. Virgil King, Concerned citizen.