The battle to keep drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge will rage on tomorrow with Senators Cantwell and Kerry leading the charge.
The WaPo reports, Drilling opponents will try first to strip the ANWR provision by asserting that it flouts Senate rules against unrelated legislation on spending bills.
If that fails, members from both parties are raising the politically risky prospect of a filibuster that would take 60 votes to break.
Both Kerry and Cantwell have vowed to filibuster. Stevens, the former Appropriations Committee chairman who sponsored the ANWR drilling provision is “a master of legislative larding, but this latest gambit may be riskier than usual.” We can best remember Stevens earlier this year for his “Bridge to Nowhere.”
Democrats are considering their parliamentary options for a showdown expected tomorrow in the Senate. These options were discussed earlier today in a press conference with Sens. Cantwell, Kerry, Feinstein, Leiberman and Lautenberg.
A memo circulating among Democratic senators and their staffs pointed out that the new language authorizes drilling in a larger area than would have been allowed in the budget bill. They also noted that President Bush would have broad discretion over how royalties are spent.
Democrats and moderate Republicans said that in challenging the drilling provision, they will argue that inserting an unrelated provision in the defense bill is a breach of Senate rules.
If you have not so already “Call your Senators and tell them to stand up against this Republican abuse of power.”