Wednesday, December 21, 2005

AP: Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling

AP: Dems are managing to do some positive things in the Senate: "The Senate blocked an attempt to open an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling Wednesday, foiling an attempt by drilling backers to force the measure through Congress as part of a must-have defense spending bill.

It was a stinging defeat for Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), R-Alaska, one of the Senate's most powerful members, who had given senators a choice to support the Alaska drilling measure, or risk the political fallout of voting against money for American troops and for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Democrats accused Stevens, the senior Republican in the Senate, of holding the defense bill hostage to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

'It took a lot of guts for a lot of people to stand up,' Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said after the vote.

Republican leaders fell four votes short of getting the required 60 votes to avoid a threatened filibuster of the defense measure over the oil drilling issue. The vote prompted GOP leaders to huddle in private over their next move."


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