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Energy legislation faces more delays

Although House Majority Leader Tom DeLay had said the bill would be unveiled this morning and come to the House floor for a vote Thursday, a Senate spokesman said all of the details had not been resolved.

Marnie Funk, a spokesman for New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici, chairman of the conference committee, told reporters “a few items” had not been resolved. She declined to elaborate on the reasons for the delay or predict when the final package would be disclosed.

Members of the conference have been debating the tax provisions of the bill mostly behind closed doors for the last month. Sources have said much of the argument centered around a disagreement between Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley and California Rep. Bill Thomas over tax incentives for ethanol manufacturers.

Democratic senators have complained about being shut out of the negotiations and have threatened to filibuster the legislation if they decide the bill’s provisions favor industry more than consumers.

Update: Later in the day, DeLay announced there would be no votes in the House this week because of the probability of the lack of any action in the Senate while the Republican leadership discusses Democratic opposition to President Bush's judicial nominees.

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