House GOP Not Quite Ready to Drill in ANWR
Earlier today, the Senate voted by a 51 to 48 margin to open up the Artic National Wildlife Reserve for oil drilling. But as The Hill‘s eNews (a free email service) reports, Republicans in the House are not quite ready to embrace the measure.
While conference moderates are wary about a number of the possible cuts to federal programs, including food stamps, student loans and Medicaid, a broad swath of the conference has rallied in opposition to a provision that would allow oil exploration in Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
In response to a question about ANWR yesterday, House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said the spending package that comes to the floor will “undoubtedly not be the same” as what emerged from yesterday’s markup, a clear hint that leadership is willing to negotiate many of the bill’s final provisions. ANWR is a politically difficult vote for a number of Republicans that would otherwise support the bill.
It looks like ANWR might be saved — even if just for another day. And of equal importance, it seems the moderates are, for the first time since the May vote to expand funding for stem cell research, exerting some power within the House Republican caucus.
Also on Basie! today…