Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 23, 2014

House Skirts LNG Filibuster

For a fleeting moment, a California lawmaker played with the idea of a filibuster Thursday, as he pushed for a requirement that exports of liquefied natural gas be shipped by U.S. flagged vessels. After the chairwoman told Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., that debate on a point of order was not timed and could continue as long as it was on the issue, you could see the wheels turning.

“Did the chairwoman say that the time is unlimited as long as I speak to the subject?” he asked, laughing. It was after 5 p.m. and the House was in its second day of debate on the Energy-Water spending bill. Garamendi had previously floated the proposal, Bloomberg reports, to prop up the nation’s shipping industry.

“If we fail to take steps along the way to secure the maritime industry, we will see it disappear,” Garamendi said before running out of time to speak about his amendment. Energy-Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, raised a point of order, giving Garamendi another chance to talk. After briefly pondering the filibuster, he acquiesced.

“I’ll yield back, we’ll come back at this in a proper way,” he said.

CQ.com subscribers can read more coverage of the spending bill here.

  • Yankee Mike Bravo

    Transporting LNG out of U.S. ports has serious implications for national security. Allowing foreign-flagged ships to handle that much explosive materials would be sheer madness. Go get ‘em, Garamendi!

  • Gunnar René Øie

    Making LNG exports more difficult and expensive would not improve national security. Quite to the contrary – it would just contribute to your allies’ dependence on gas from countries like Russia. Obviously US legal standards regarding safety and the environment should apply to both US and non-US flagged vessels which export LNG from the US.

    This would simply be an attempt to establish a monopoly to try to help the US economy, but the impact might actually be negative in the final analysis.

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