The Senate Judiciary panel on Thursday voted down a bipartisan amendment that would have put the focus back on the Japanese government’s role in overseeing the construction of the reactor at Fukushima Daiichi.
The amendment was introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., but was blocked by Sen, Richard Blumenthal, D of Connecticut.
The proposal would have asked whether the government was responsible for the oversight of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that melted down on March 11, 2011.
The Senate panel was debating the bill at the time, and the bill was ultimately defeated by a 51-49 margin.
The House Judiciary Committee has already voted to send the amendment to the full Senate for consideration.
The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern, D, Mass.
The Senate committee also rejected a bipartisan proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D -Mass., to provide an independent investigation into the role Asian steel firms played in the construction and operation of the plant.
The Warren amendment would have provided that the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should review the role played by Asian steel companies in the building and operation.
The committee voted down Warren’s amendment.
The House Judiciary committee is scheduled to vote on the issue on Monday.
The Obama administration has repeatedly blamed Japan for the disaster, while the Japanese have rejected that allegation.
The Obama administration last month said the Fukushima plant’s construction was “caused” by a “human error.”