Call it a blooper. Call it folly. Or call it divine forces at work bent on preventing Congress from ever, under any circumstances, getting something done.
Either way, it's pretty funny. See, Congress had finally taken up a truly bipartisan bill--seriously!--that improved oil pipeline security. Companies would be liable for higher fines, they'd have to install the latest preventative technology, etc. Surprisingly, everyone was on board. The House of Representatives came together, set aside their petty political differences, and voted in a brand new pipeline safety bill.
Except they screwed it up--they voted on the wrong bill.
Due to human error, the House on Monday and Senate on Tuesday both passed a pipeline safety bill all right, but an earlier version of the bill — not the final bipartisan, bicameral compromise.So fear not, the correct bill will be passed, and Congress can return to congratulating itself for its bipartisan triumph. Before, you know, they get back to clawing at each other's backs in another hour or two.
“There was a House clerical error and we expect the correcting resolution to be approved in the House and Senate without issue,” said Caley Gray, a spokesman for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was a lead author of Senate pipeline safety legislation this year. The Senate was the one that discovered the error, Gray added.
The House by unanimous consent late Wednesday agreed to the version they meant to approve Monday; the Senate is expected to quickly follow suit.