Wednesday, December 21

ANWR killed!

I'm hearing news that the US Senate just rejected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) oil drilling rider on the massive defense appropriations bill. In the words of Trent Lott, the provision "has to come out," after the Senate failed to get the three-fifths majority necessary to override the filibuster and end debate. The final total was 56-44. Four votes short.

Considering neither side felt confident they had sufficient votes this morning ... [huge sigh of relief]. It's far from over, but I'm pleased to see the recent moderate bi-partisan activity in the Senate over bills like this and the Patriot Act reauthorization. I am happy to see the Senate is finally starting to flex its muscle and put the brakes on some of the more offensive legislation King George II has been trying to ramrod through Congress.

Thank you to the Democratic caucus for standing firm. A special thank you to Republican Senators Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island for standing up against the pressure and voting against the drilling provision. I am happy to see there are still men and women in the Senate who have the integrity to do what's right and go against what their leadership demands.

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