- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Dems agree on offshore oil drilling vote
Capitol Hill Democrats have agreed to vote on expanding oil drilling off the U.S. coast, but have drawn guffaws from Republicans after proposing a second economic-stimulus package.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he is ready to take up at least two proposals that would allow limited oil and gas drilling 50 miles off Florida’s Gulf Coast and in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, as well as a broader Republican drilling bill.
“We are offering Republicans multiple opportunities to vote for increased drilling,” said Mr. Reid, addressing what has become the biggest energy issue in Congress as well as in the presidential campaign.
House Democratic leaders also say a limited expansion of domestic drilling will be included in an overall energy bill to be introduced later this week. The plan would include money for the development of renewable energy sources - such as wind, solar and biofuels - that would be paid for with oil royalties.
The measure also would include a “use it or lose it” provision that would force oil companies to surrender oil and gas leases on federal land they’re not drilling on and to prohibit those companies from acquiring new leases.
“If [Republicans] want to drill offshore, we’ll say, ‘OK,’ ” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “You want to drill in the outer continental shelf? Let’s have a discussion and a change of the relationship between our oil, which is owned by the American people, the desire of Big Oil for us to subsidize their drilling, and us not to - the American people not getting the benefit of the profits.”
But House Republicans called the Democrats’ proposals “gimmicks,” and instead have insisted on a stand-alone vote on oil drilling.
“Speaker Pelosi’s so-called ‘energy’ bill will do nothing to help our energy crisis,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican. “It will multiply red tape and make it almost impossible to lower already skyrocketing oil costs.”
Democrats in both houses of Congress Tuesday reiterated an earlier promise to introduce a second economic-stimulus package this year, saying the nation’s soft economy needs another federal government boost.
“We need to do it as soon as we can. … We need to jump-start the economy by having a second stimulus” measure, said Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat.
Mr. Casey said that while the year’s first stimulus package helped keep the slumping economy from sinking lower, it lacked several components critical, including unemployment insurance.
“It was good we did it, but …we didn’t do a couple of things that would have made it better,” he said. “We have to try to make up for that now.”
But the White House and congressional Republicans say they aren’t convinced a second federal subsidy program would push the economy forward, and instead want Congress to pass other pieces of legislation, such as free-trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, to help the economy.
“We’re not talking about a stimulus package,” said White House press secretary Dana Perino.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.