Republican Senate’s First 100 Days: 59 Votes on Energy and Environment; No Laws Signed

Friday, April 17, 2015
Republicans being sworn in to the 114th Congress (photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

As promised, Republicans used their new majority power in the U.S. Senate during the start of the year to focus on energy as well as environmental legislation. What do they have to show for it? Not a single law signed by President Barack Obama.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) made issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline a top priority as soon as the 114th Congress began. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the new head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, promised quick approval of a long wish list of fossil fuel companies’ pet issues. Keystone, opening more offshore areas to oil drilling and allowing export of U.S. oil and natural gas headed the list.


By the end of its first 100 days, the Senate had voted 59 times on energy/environmental bills. None of these votes led to any legislation being approved by the White House.


The next highest vote getter, homeland security issues, was voted on only 13 times by the



The liberal Center for American Progress says 44% of the Senate’s votes were on Keystone, plus “efforts to block action to reduce carbon pollution; proposals to sell America’s public lands; and other fossil-fuel and energy-related legislation.”


Overall, the new Congress has cast 279 roll call votes. Of these more than 30% were on energy- and environment-related topics.


In the House lawmakers spent more than 17% of their votes on energy and environmental issues, with “the lion’s share” being “aimed at blocking efforts to address climate change,” Matt Lee-Ashley and Claire Moser wrote.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

With Fossil Fuels the Focus of Its First 100 Days, the New Congress Has No Results to Show (by Matt Lee-Ashley and Claire Moser, Center for American Progress)

Keystone Pipeline Controversy Distracts Attention from Major Growth of other Oil Pipelines (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Obama May Have Vetoed Keystone Pipeline, but Part of it is Already Built (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)


Leave a comment