Skip to comments.Canceled markup spares Dems tough vote on offshore drilling (Dems blocking vote on drilling)
Posted on 06/18/2008 6:10:57 PM PDT by Fred
At the very least, Democrats saved themselves an awkward confrontation on gas prices Wednesday when they canceled a committee vote on the Interior spending bill.
Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) was planning to push his offshore drilling bill as a remedy for oil and gas costs, just as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and President Bush made their tag-teamed push for drilling off the countrys coastlines.
But the committee markup was canceled just two hours before it was to begin.
Republicans say they suspect Democrats might have nixed it because they were worried they would lose the vote or, in beating Peterson back, become part of the Republicans 2008 campaign storyline.
We think the vote was extremely close, said Peterson chief of staff Jordan Clark. They were wondering, What the heck do we do now?
Democrats say they didnt cancel it to avoid a showdown, but to get work done on the emergency war-spending bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has set a deadline for completing the bill before Congress departs for the Independence Day recess, but it was put off again Wednesday.
With Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) negotiating a way to get the bill funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to the presidents desk, he didnt have time to chair a protracted committee markup.
The chairman is working on the supplemental, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Thats our key concern.
A Democratic aide noted that Obey canceled three other full committee markups this week as well.
The cancellation of the vote on Petersons plan did allow House Democrats to concentrate on responding to President Bushs call for more drilling and on tweaking McCain for his change of heart on the topic.
In a Rose Garden news conference Wednesday, President Bush responded to the high price of gasoline by urging Congress to allow more drilling of the Outer Continental Shelf. He said lifting the current moratorium on drilling could produce about 18 billion barrels of oil.
Unless members are willing to accept gas prices at todays painful levels or even higher our nation must produce more oil, Bush said.
His call came a day after McCain reversed his opposition to offshore drilling.
House Democrats contend that oil and gas companies already have plenty of access to federal land and waters, but arent using it. They say oil and gas companies have leased 68 million acres of federal land and waters for oil and gas that the companies arent developing.
Democrats held a press conference to highlight use it or lose it legislation by House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) to compel companies to produce from their leases.
Peterson lost his attempt to get the Appropriations Interior subcommittee to end the drilling moratorium last week on a party-line vote. But hed announced plans to try a similar move at Wednesdays markup.
Peterson tried to remove the moratorium last year at the Appropriations Committee, but lost in a 29-37 vote.
Peterson would have had to switch five votes, and there have been no public defections. Last year, six Democrats voted to lift the ban and six Republicans voted to keep it. The members of the committee are generally senior members with safe seats whose ability to bring home local projects helps win over any voter discontent on national issues.
Saw a rep for one of the oil associations on Chris Wallace this past Sunday. He stated that the oil companies found nothing worth a damm to drill on these 68 million acres and that is why they are not drilling and letting the leases go back to the feds.....
Ofcourse they don’t want to vote on it.
Who wants to go in this upcoming election having voted against drilling?
Especially now I have to believe that Big Oil would be looking forward to put some of these losers out of Congress.
If it is going to take 10 years,
shouldn't we get started?
Drill here, drill now, pay less
And to counter the charges of flip-flopping, I quote the RATs' hero, John Maynard Keynes, When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
This is not a Kerryesque 'I voted for the bill before I voted against it' situation. 8 years time and an incredible rise in price have occurred.
No worries, the people WILL PAY TAXES OR GO TO JAIL, and this city and the apparatchiks that feed off it will never feel any economic pressure.
Democrat SOB's run on a platform of raising taxes and get a majority in Congress!.
This Republic is just about done, it was lost for good when the 24 and 26th amendments were passed, the final nail was Motor Voter.
The Founders knew the Republic could not survive the enfranchisement of the landless, the simple, and those under 21, but their warnings were not heeded.
Anybody who thinks this is going to turn out OK is delusional.
“Saw a rep for one of the oil associations on Chris Wallace this past Sunday. He stated that the oil companies found nothing worth a damm to drill on these 68 million acres and that is why they are not drilling and letting the leases go back to the feds.....”
Of course that is the reason. It is common sense. If oil companies could drill and produce at a profit on that land, they would be doing it. I don’t know why republicans don’t shoot this fake excuss down pronto.
I truly hope to bury those bastards, no matter how it's done
The Dems are working that storyline hard....Cal Rep Xaveira...(sp?) was on Kudlow smirking about that excuse...
One phone call to Exxon and we could save them millions in exploration costs and bring down the cost/gal of gas and may be get a nice % for the info!
>Anybody who thinks this is going to turn out OK is delusional.
Don’t let the Republic fool you, my treasure is in heaven.
Another very real -- and dangerous -- consequence of sitting at home on election day and letting the Dems take over.
As opposed to letting McInsane and Myth Romney take over, I'm sure they will be significantly better.
Yes... go on your summer break, Congress, with all of your constituents angry at your refusal to do anything constructive to address record high gas prices. Keep up the good work — you may give the Republicans this election yet. At least maybe the Presidency.
Awkward? Pelosi promised - no?
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