The Energy Independence and Security Act, HR 6, passed the House December 6 on a 235-181 vote after furious backroom negotiations between the Bush administration and Democratic legislators. The main bone of contention was fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. In an attempt to derail the vote, the White House issued a statement in the morning prior to the House debate that warned, \u201cUnfortunately, the bill contains several highly objectionable provisions that would impose higher costs on American taxpayers, electricity consumers, and businesses. Specifically, the bill raises taxes in a way that will increase energy costs facing consumers. It would also impose a national renewable electricity standard that would ignore the specific energy and economic needs of individual states,\u201d the administration claimed. California Representatives Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton), Jane Harmon (D-El Segundo), George Miller (D-Martinez), as well as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), put their weight behind the bill. Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) was in the minority of the state\u2019s delegation declaring the bill a \u201cjob killer.\u201d The backroom blitz over the legislation occurred while most of Washington sulked in the snow waiting for the holiday break. On December 3, House majority whip James Clyburn (D-SC) began twisting his colleagues\u2019 arms to support a national renewable portfolio standard and energy tax credits for renewables. In letters to both the Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker Pelosi, White House Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Allan Hubbard warned that the current energy bill may be vetoed. The administration\u2019s concerns revolve around stricter mileage standards for vehicles. However, his language offered an olive branch by adding that the administration wants to avoid a \u201cpartisan stalemate,\u201d and to work \u201ctogether\u201d on the details. Meanwhile, Representative John Dingell (D-MI), usually representing automaker interests in Detroit, made a deal with Pelosi. New mileage standards for automobiles were set at 35 mpg by 2020. Other highlights of the bill include using the $21 billion, according to Senators, formerly set aside for oil and gas industry subsidies now to be used for alternative energy; a goal of 36 billion gallons of biofuels; a tax credit for plug-in hybrid cars; and a national renewables portfolio standard of 15 percent. The legislation was left in limbo in early summer. It was originally set to pass on July 4, Independence Day. However, opposition from coal states, along with disparities between House and Senate versions of the two bills--which could not be addressed the usual way in conference committee--stranded the legislation. The bill heads to the Senate where it needs 60 votes to pass. Getting actual votes in person from legislators is becoming an issue, according to a source. With the number of legislators running for President, and out of Washington, D.C., raising money and stumping, individual lawmakers have to be reeled back to the Capitol to cast their votes. At press time, the Senate came up seven votes short of the 60 needed to shut off debate on the energy bill.