Ohio Republican Rob Portman and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen are either gluttons for punishment or close to picking the political lock that often keeps even widely supported legislation out in the cold.
The coming months could bring the answer. On Wednesday the duo is reintroducing major energy legislation to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, and homes, a measure the senators have floated in one form or another since 2011.
The bill, despite buy-in from well-connected business and environmental groups, has spent years waylaid by Beltway dysfunction and ensnared in fights over more volatile topics like the Keystone XL pipeline and Obamacare. It has reached the Senate floor twice in the last two years, only to stall out.
"We have gotten bogged down in the dysfunction of Washington in the past," Portman told National Journal. "We're hopeful that we can now gain traction in this Congress."
Portman and Shaheen, who will float the bill with a bipartisan group of cosponsors, are hopeful they can convince colleagues to avoid letting it become a magnet for controversial amendments.
The Senate has gotten weeks of debates and votes on Keystone out of the way for the moment, culminating this month in a failed attempt to override President Obama's veto of legislation to authorize the project.