The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced a broad energy bill 18-4 on Thursday.
The bipartisan package covers a suite of policies on energy efficiency, electric grid reliability and energy infrastructure. The bill left out contentious issues such as climate change and lifting the ban on crude oil exports.
Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona, along with Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., were the opposing votes.
Committee Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she would oppose partisan measures in committee, and members largely withheld controversial amendments. But should the full Senate take up the bill, those fights likely will occur on the floor, threatening to derail the chamber's first serious attempt since 2007 to pass sweeping energy legislation.