[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] also would deny the unregulated new gas price to producers who were withholding gas by sitting on capped wells waiting for prices to go up. Their fourth change would remove a protective wall around producing states by permitting interstate pipelines to bid any price for intrastate gas to ship across state lines.
Sen. James Abourezk (D-S.D.) and his fellow filibusterers prevented a vote on these proposed changes as well as on the original Pearson-Bentsen substitute by calling up their own amendments. As long as there were other amendments offered to be voted on, the Senate could not get to a vote on deregulation.
Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.) threatened to try to suspend Senate rules to permit a motion to dispose of all the 500 or so remaining amendments in one vote. But this would require a two-thirds vote. Senate Republicans discussed the matter at a party lunch and decided not to support the proposal on grounds that it could be a bad precedent that could haunt a minority party in the future.
The Senate Finance Committee had planned a meeting yesterday morning to try to put back together the President's proposed crude oil tax, which they tentatively rejected on Monday. But because of constant interruptions to go to the floor to vote the meeting was postponed until today.