Saturday, December 10, 2005

Budget Cuts Held Up Over ANWR Drilling

As I said yesterday, the Republican Party is clearly not cutting the budget to pay for New Orleans reconstruction as they claim. They cut taxes in order to create an excuse to cut programs that are very benefitial to millions of Americans. Programs ranging from food stamps, to student loans, to MediCare. It appears that for the moment they have outsmarted themselves by grouping two of their top priorities together, the budget cuts and Arctic Drilling.
"The Senate won't take anything that doesn't have some sort of program for ANWR in it, and the House right now won't take anything that does," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas.
Even though a majority in both the House and Senate support drilling in the refuge, filibuster threats by drilling opponents in the Senate have always blocked efforts to pass it as part of broader energy legislation. The filibuster threat means it effectively takes 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to pass ANWR drilling under normal rules.

o clear that hurdle this year, Senate advocates of drilling, led by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., put the issue in the budget measure, which cannot be filibustered.

Thank you Stevens and Domenichi for trying so hard to avoid a filibuster on your beloved Arctic drilling that you have at least for the time being holding up some of the most viscious budget cuts imaginable. I hope they don't compromise on this, as long as Senate pro-drilling Republicans refuse to compromise neither the radical budget cuts or the harmful and useless ANWR drilling will pass. Please keep these together, the country is much better for this packaging. I'm all for anything that keeps this budget cut package from passing.

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