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Posted: 12/21/2005 5:47:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 5:49:06 AM EDT by raven]
Oh please lord, help us get this through. I really hope this doesn't backfire.

Standoff over ANWR
By Jonathan Allen

Senate Republicans prepared a targeted version of the so-called “nuclear option” yesterday as they tried to ensure adoption of a defense-spending conference report that includes a controversial provision opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling.

The tactic promises to make the consensus-based Senate temporarily resemble the majority-dominated House.

The ANWR provision leaves the measure open to a point of order because it runs afoul of Senate Rule 28, which requires that conference reports contain only provisions that were included in either the House- or Senate-passed versions of the bill.

The president of the Senate, who rules on parliamentary questions, would be expected to uphold the point of order. But Republican leaders plan to appeal that ruling, allowing 51 senators — rather than the 60-vote majority typically needed to waive points of order — to allow the ANWR provision to stand.

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and the chief proponent of ANWR drilling, included a provision to ensure that the precedent set by the move would not become permanent. Under that language, the Senate would revert the precedent that existed at the start of the 109th Congress.

It is possible that Stevens, who is president pro tempore of the Senate, could preside over the proceedings on a point of order, according to Amy Call, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Though it would be short-lived, the parliamentary maneuver is similar to the “nuclear option” Frist has threatened to employ to circumvent Rule 22, which requires a supermajority for cloture, to win confirmation for judicial nominees.

It was unclear whether Democrats would filibuster to block consideration of the conference report before a point of order is raised.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said he would oppose cloture. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said he was leaning that way, though he called it “a difficult question” because of other provisions he supports in the underlying bill.

The issue is fraught with political risks for Democrats. A conference report cannot be amended. Because the House has already passed the measure, the conference itself has been vitiated and the report could not be recommitted. Thus, a successful point of order against the ANWR provision would kill the bill and force Republican leaders to create a new conference committee or pass an extension beyond the current Dec. 31 expiration to keep the Pentagon operating.

Under that scenario, or a successful filibuster, Democrats could leave themselves open to accusations of shutting down the Defense Department and denying money to American troops on the ground in Iraq.

The measure contains $453.5 billion for the Pentagon, including a $50 billion “bridge” fund for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To this point, Republicans have demonstrated little urgency in approving fiscal 2006 funds for the Pentagon. Fiscal 2005 ended Sept. 30, but GOP leaders held the bill back for a variety of reasons, including their desire to attach controversial extraneous provisions. Republicans could also face political difficulty if the public views the parliamentary move — or ANWR drilling — unfavorably. Democrats have increasingly focused their campaign arguments in recent years on accusations that the GOP is abusing its power.

Frist (R-Tenn.) was expected to file a cloture motion on the conference report before the end of the day, portending climactic votes tomorrow on defense spending.

Several Democratic senators went to the floor yesterday to denounce Republicans for attaching the ANWR provision to the defense bill and for the proposed use of the rules.

“The fact that you would basically overrule the parliamentarian … if that isn’t a quick fix around the legislative process, I don’t know what is,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

Republicans argued that Democrats had used similar means to achieve their ends when they held power.

“I am not trying to turn over the rules,” Stevens said. “I am not trying to do anything that others have not done.”

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said such examples had arisen out of bipartisan support for a circumvention of the rules.

“The scope of conference is very important. It shouldn’t be changed willy-nilly. It shouldn’t be changed because it’s inconvenient,” Reid said.

www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/122005/news1.html
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:02:22 AM EDT
Man, Alaska is on their knees praying that this makes it through.

I love the way the Libs show the Carribou grazing on fluffy greenn pastures surrounded by mountains and evergreen trees. The area of ANWAR that will actually be drilled is a fricken frozen desert.

Drill it!

CMOS
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:07:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 6:08:30 AM EDT by raven]

Originally Posted By CMOS:
Man, Alaska is on their knees praying that this makes it through.

I love the way the Libs show the Carribou grazing on fluffy greenn pastures surrounded by mountains and evergreen trees. The area of ANWAR that will actually be drilled is a fricken frozen desert.

Drill it!

CMOS



It's very dangerous though, because some people will get the impression that this move exploits the necessary budget funding of the Pentagon. This could really blow up, make the entire GOP look like dogs, and this looks like a perfect opportunity for McCain to yet again win points in the press. But AK has tried by hook and by crook to get ANWR opened for 20 years. If it can't be done now with this Congress and this President? Forget about it. So Mr. Stevens is going all out. I'm praying for him.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:13:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:

Originally Posted By CMOS:
Man, Alaska is on their knees praying that this makes it through.

I love the way the Libs show the Carribou grazing on fluffy greenn pastures surrounded by mountains and evergreen trees. The area of ANWAR that will actually be drilled is a fricken frozen desert.

Drill it!

CMOS



It's very dangerous though, because some people will get the impression that this move exploits the necessary budget funding of the Pentagon. This could really blow up, make the entire GOP look like dogs, and this looks like a perfect opportunity for McCain to yet again win points in the press. But AK has tried by hook and by crook to get ANWR opened for 20 years. If it can't be done now with this Congress and this President? Forget about it. So Mr. Stevens is going all out. I'm praying for him.




Agreed on the political "danger." But hey, the Dems would fight the Repubbies if GW himself found the cure for Cancer. This is all abut politics with the Dems, not national energy. In short, IMO - any way we can get this through to drill is okay by me.

CMOS
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:13:11 AM EDT
RAMMING SPEED!
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:18:58 AM EDT
I saw some Eskimo quoted on a PBS program saying, "The amount oil we would get out of ANWR could be saved if we all just inflated our tires properly."

Naturally there was no challenge to this statement.

I say drill it.

I recently read somewhere that there are massive oil deposits under western states in the Colorado region, rivalling Middle Eastern fields, by restrictions pushed through by the environmental extremists prevent us from tapping into it.


DRILL!!!!! DRILL, I SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then tell the Arabs to drink their oil.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 7:23:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By xinflt: RAMMING SPEED!
Time for Ludicrous Speed!
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 7:37:35 AM EDT
Please let there be one more oil boom....
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 11:40:45 PM EDT
Fuckers .
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 11:45:56 PM EDT
drill!

It should be alaskas decision not the feds.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 11:49:55 PM EDT
NO!
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 11:50:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
I saw some Eskimo quoted on a PBS program saying, "The amount oil we would get out of ANWR could be saved if we all just inflated our tires properly."

Naturally there was no challenge to this statement.

I say drill it.

I recently read somewhere that there are massive oil deposits under western states in the Colorado region, rivalling Middle Eastern fields, by restrictions pushed through by the environmental extremists prevent us from tapping into it.


DRILL!!!!! DRILL, I SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then tell the Arabs to drink their oil.




They found a mother load of Shale oil in and around Utah dwarfs anwar and is apparently viable at $1.50 a gallon lets tap it.

Is it possible for GWB to use E.O. on grounds of National Security to allow drilling?
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 12:15:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 3:34:11 AM EDT
the bill was killed. no drilling.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 3:42:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By clement:
drill!

It should be alaskas decision not the feds.



You do know what ANWR stands for dont you?
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