Bush-McCain Republicans showed how uninterested they are in having a real debate over energy. The GOP leadership rejected offers by Democrats to have a debate and votes on amendments important to them. Not surprising, Republicans leaders spent the last several days making speeches instead of working with Democrats on the bill, perhaps because GOP campaign strategists back home have asked them to.
Bush-McCain Republicans claim they want a "real" debate on energy:
Senator McConnell Even Claimed Democrats Were Keeping Republicans From Offering Amendments…….. Yesterday, SenatorMcConnell issued a statement in which he claimed, “[O]ur friends on the other side are saying that having a real debate, that considering good ideas from all sides is just too much for the Senate to handle. They’ve apparently rejected the idea of finding a serious solution to high gas prices. And instead, they want us to take up a proposal that’s designed to fail.” [Office of Senator Mitch McConnell, 7/23/08]
… even though they rejected Senator Reid’s offer for votes on their amendments:
Senator Reid Made Clear His Intention to Give Republicans Votes on Their Issues. On the Senate floor yesterday, Senator Reid made clear he was willing to give Republicans votes on amendments important to them.
SENATOR REID: Mr. President, the American people are now watching what has taken place for 18 months. The Republicans said they wanted to vote on drilling. We offered them a vote on drilling. They can’t take yes for an answer. Now we have had statement after statement here of people who say drilling is important. But remember what Senator McCain said: the Republican nominee for president said drilling wouldn’t make any difference, it’s only psychological. Think about that, Mr. President. They have been talking for weeks about drilling. We say, okay, let’s have a vote on drilling and they say no, we don’t want to vote on drilling, we want the open amendment process which is a buzzword for “folks, we aren’t going to do anything.” they wanted to vote on shale — I thought that would be part of the amendment. They want a vote on shale? We will give them a vote on shale. Want to vote on nuclear? Limit the time on those three amendmentsWe are happy to do that if they want a vote on drilling, shale, and nuclear. [Senate Floor Proceedings, 7/23/08]