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House Republicans Signal Cooperation on Energy Bill

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) released a joint statement Monday indicating a willingness to work with senators on reconciling the two chambers’ energy bills.

The Senate passed a bipartisan energy bill in April 85-13. The House then amended the bill to include its own more partisan GOP language, adding several provisions that had attracted veto threats from the White House. Efforts to go to conference have stalled in recent weeks, but Upton and Bishop said Monday that they don’t intend to pass something that President Obama will veto.

“At the end of the day, our goal is to get something to the president that he will sign into law. From our perspective, a bill that the president will veto is a waste of time and effort and casts aside the hard work we’ve put in up to this point,” Upton and Bishop said in the statement. “We remain committed to working in a bicameral, bipartisan manner and remain hopeful we can set aside our differences and move ahead with a formal conference between the two chambers.”

The House has named conferees for the committee to reconcile the bills, but the Senate has not. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told reporters last week she wanted some acknowledgement from House lawmakers that the Senate version has more bipartisan support.