Drilling, Defense Go Down in Senate

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 21, 2005 10:41 AM

Cloture vote on defense bill including ANWR drilling fails, 56-44.

WASHINGTON - The Senate blocked oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge Wednesday, rejecting a measure that had been put into a must-pass defense spending bill in an attempt to garner wider support.

Drilling supporters fell four votes short of getting the required 60 votes to avoid a threatened filibuster of the defense spending legislation. Senate leaders were expected to withdraw the legislation so it could be reworked without the refuge language. The vote was 56-44.

Prior to the contentious vote, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told colleagues that "it is wrong" to consider the issue of drilling in the refuge as part of a defense bill that would provide money for troops in Iraq as well as relief for Katrina hurricane victims.

Senatrix Boxer apparently had no comment on the "wrongness" of preventing even a vote on money for troops in Iraq and relief for hurricane victims because of an unhealthy attachment to 2,000 acres of tundra, which members of the Alaska delegation have no problem with exploring.

Hugh-blogging on this, here.