Senate Republicans: None shall pass until drilling commences

posted at 8:55 am on July 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has laid down the gauntlet to Majority Leader Harry Reid on energy, according to The Hill.  Following the efforts of Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint, the Republican caucus has promised to obstruct any bills not pertaining to energy until the Senate votes on removing the remaining restrictions on off-shore drilling.  It promises to make the Senate the focus of high-profile political brinksmanship, and puts the Democrats in a tight spot with fuel prices impacting every aspect of the American economy:

Senate Republicans have threatened to block nearly all other bills pending before the August recess if Democrats refuse to vote with them on expanding offshore drilling.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said bills that do not pertain to energy can wait until after the August recess, with gas prices now surpassing $4 per gallon. McConnell and top Republicans indicated Wednesday they would oppose any procedural votes to take up other legislation, which require 60 votes to succeed. …

Following swift Senate action on the narrow energy bill, Reid wanted the Senate to approve a massive defense authorization bill, an overhaul of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, legislation to protect reporters’ sources, an extension of expiring energy tax incentives, and a major package of 33 bills held up by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

But Republicans are planning to keep the Senate on the energy issue until their demands are resolved. The massive housing-rescue package might be the only other measure that gets valuable floor time before the August recess.

Reid wanted to buy off enough Republicans to keep them from forcing a vote on drilling. As I noted yesterday, the omnibus spending bill Reid has pushed includes a large number of bills co-sponsored by Republicans. Coburn told me yesterday that he thought he had enough Republican votes to stop the bill, and McConnell’s actions later proved him right.

It’s not even clear that Reid can keep all of the Democrats on board. Coburn predicted that Reid would whip his caucus hard to keep all 51 Democrats behind him while he tried to bribe ten Republicans away, but fuel prices have made Reid’s obstructionism on drilling a losing cause.  No one wants to go back home in August to explain to constituents why they blocked drilling in the OCS and the interior while people are paying twice as much for gas as they did before Reid and Nancy Pelosi took control of Congress.  Democrats know that Republicans are poised to expose this on a national basis, and that the electorate is angry enough about Congressional inaction on energy policy to listen.

Two-thirds of all voters support drilling in the OCS and going after shale in the interior.  Reid’s “coal and oil make us sick” nonsense has backfired.  Do Democrats want to explain how they supported that with a national election around the corner?

The GOP has a winning hand on energy.  Democrats have obstructed domestic production for decades while promising that alternative energy sources were just around the corner, and the bill for their short-sighted policies just came due.  Reid will have little choice but to accede to a vote on drilling — and expect it to have overwhelming bipartisan support when it occurs.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

What is the deal about embryo destruction? These are frozen in a lab somewhere. Would you rather they just let them stay there for all eternity? I agree with you though, I do not want government funding this kind of crap or anything similar.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 11:46 AM

I want the frozen embryos to be adopted. They are children.

Maxx on July 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM

you mccainiacs run like a vampire from a cross when confronted with the liberalism of your boy juan.

right4life on July 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM

I want the frozen embryos to be adopted. They are children.

Maxx on July 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM

very true…but we’re not pro-life…oh no, only those who support killing embryos for research like mccain and his ghouls are.

right4life on July 24, 2008 at 2:28 PM

I want the frozen embryos to be adopted. They are children.

Maxx on July 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Very persuasive. Thank you Maxx; now that is how you win points, not like with anger as right4strife does.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Oops, PIMF….right4LIFE.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM

, not like with anger as right4strife does.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM

laughable, pathetically stupid…

your first comment to me moron:

you would be better suited bashing your head into a concrete wall.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 10:57 AM

sounds pretty angry to me…

right4life on July 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM

talking to you isn’t like talking to a wall there carboncopy…its really casting pearls before swine.

right4life on July 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Whoop ‘um drill!

Chakra Hammer on July 24, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Can’t the Dems ever figure out when they have a losing hand? They are 20-30 years responsible for the current problems and they are still saying “no way”. Hello to President McCain.

duff65 on July 24, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Reid will have little choice but to accede to a vote on drilling — and expect it to have overwhelming bipartisan support when it occurs.

Yes, he will and he will. Republicans will not bushel about how they stuck it to Harry Reid and the Democrats. Come election time to an advertisement near you be sure to watch how the Democrats take credit for lower gas prices.

Wesley Clarke shamelessly makes things up and the rest take credit from others. My goodness, even their Presidential Candidate takes credit and leadership of a committee he’s never been on. What do you expect? Republicans getting credit for this? Wishful thinking.

Then you have wimpy mouthed Republicans that won’t challenge the MSMs spin because all they care about is that the gas prices are lowered. They don’t like to get their hands dirty fighting for the credit.

Sultry Beauty on July 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Another reason environmentalist don’t want any drilling, they like the high profits from the drilling they ALLOW on their own reserves and they don’t want the competition. America starving for oil makes them richer.

Ironically, the environmentalists who so fervently oppose developing federal lands allow drilling within their own wildlife preserves. The National Audubon Society in its Louisiana Rainey Reserve and the Michigan Audubon Society in its Michigan Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary both collect millions from oil production. The drilling is carefully controlled and the wildlife is unharmed.

Maxx on July 24, 2008 at 4:00 PM

right4life: you are right. I am wrong. You win. You are awesome. I am humiliated. Sorry for the trouble. Go in peace. You are right.
Thank you.
Thanks.
You set me straight.
Your ultimate kindness has won me over. Thanks.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 5:26 PM

you would be better suited bashing your head into a concrete wall.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 10:57 AM

sounds pretty angry to me…

right4life on July 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM

No, it was a metaphor for the humility that you must feel since you hate McCain and he is the Republican nominee. You know what, you are a pos. Forget it. Ignoring you from now on like most sane people at HA do.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Sultry Beauty on July 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM

The trick is to get a bill passed that is free from all of the “entanglements” that the Dems will try to place on the bill. They will want to pass a bill that has so much baggage, that it will be impossible to implement.
Bonds, Enviornmental Impact Reports, Archaeological Reports, forcing of hiring of certain groups (ethnic or unions), BLM filings, it will go on and on…a simple direct “drill now” bill is what we need.

right2bright on July 24, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Finally! Good lord! Man up, Republicans!

SouthernGent on July 24, 2008 at 6:05 PM

CNN radio news (Hey, I was listening to Hannity and it just came on at the top of the hour)CNN reported that “Republicans blocked the Democrats from lowering gas prices” by not agreeing with the Dems to force Bush to release oil from the Petro. Reserves.
What a freakin joke! The MSM sickens me!

JellyToast on July 24, 2008 at 6:18 PM

It is stunning how evil and manipulative Harry is. Who knew a Mormon could be such an ass?

cannonball on July 24, 2008 at 6:26 PM

It’s a STRATEGIC Petroleum Reserve, intended to supply the military with fuel if a hostile country cut off oil supplies during wartime. It’s not supposed to be used to manipulate oil markets.

When completely full, the SPR holds 727 million barrels of oil, which can be pumped out at a maximum rate of 4.4 million barrels per day–not enough to cover America’s total imports of 12 million barrels a day. At that pumping rate, it would last about 165 days.

You could figure out Harry’s logic. Pump out the SPR, lower the price until Election Day (103 days from now) and take credit for solving the oil price problem. Then when the SPR runs out on January 5 (165 days from now) and prices go back up, blame it on Bush, who will still be in office.

Trouble is, depleting the SPR probably wouldn’t lower oil prices much. Speculators on international markets are betting on oil prices years in the future, and the spot prices depend on a mixture of prices for contracts with short-term and long-term delivery dates. So, if we start pumping oil out of the SPR, foreign suppliers will see short-term contracts dropping in price, while long-term contracts hold steady, and simply hoard their oil until the SPR is empty and the price goes back up.

Then, if Iran gets a nuclear bomb and the Air Force needs to take it out, they say, “Sorry, there’s no fuel for the planes.” Brilliant strategery, Harry!

Steve Z on July 24, 2008 at 7:16 PM

I for one would like to shake the hand of thank the doctor who helped the Senate Republicans find their long lost cajones.

Hollowpoint on July 24, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Dhimmicrat stratgery:

1) Pass a good bill and take credit for it, like SB states; or,

2) Put up a pork bill that won’t pass, as r2b states, and blame the Repubs for failing to do anything about high prices.

I hope the Repubs haven’t painted themselves into a corner.

davidk on July 24, 2008 at 7:41 PM

I hope the Repubs haven’t painted themselves into a corner.

davidk on July 24, 2008 at 7:41 PM

They haven’t yet, but if they let the Dems throw out their bills, the Republicans will have to be on the defensive.
The Republicans have to start advancing their “drill now” strategy first, and do it with vigor and as a block.
The people will accept a temporary bypass on those peripheral issues, if it means quick and efficient relief.

right2bright on July 24, 2008 at 8:20 PM

Even though he got my name wrong at a fund-raiser a few years back, I like Mitch…

OBSTRUCTION BABY!!!!

deedtrader on July 24, 2008 at 11:04 PM

Don’t they have a boatload of spending bills to act on before they go on their summer break?

The GOP should be buying up every commercial time on TV to tell America that Reid and Pelosi are preventing any votes on drilling. But they won’t. Wimps.

darwin-t on July 24, 2008 at 11:14 PM

Mr. Bush needs to keep these pricks in session by calling for a special session in August and demand a ‘BILL TO DRILL’. His last gift to the American people should be to keep them in DC until hell thaws. Wanna bet the legislation will get passed so the rats can go home to run for reelection? Come on George show us you have the guts to do this for the American people.

JohnD9207 on July 24, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Reid makes US sick.

Maquis on July 25, 2008 at 2:23 AM

Aren’t the Iraqis more effective at reconciliation than the Dems are at reaching across the aisle? Are the Iraqi’s paying the Dems off so that we buy their oil?

Never mind, Reid and Pelosi on summer break is akin to the madness we felt over the Iraqi’s going on break last year? No, time for a tsunami to sweep the Dems out to the fishes around some oil rigs after California falls into the sea.

mdetlh on July 25, 2008 at 8:43 PM

JohnD,
“BILL TO DRILL”

That has a different meaning with this administration, doesn’t it?

exhelodrvr on July 25, 2008 at 10:28 PM

What is your favorite color (Harry)?
Yellow.
Correct!

I’m very heartened to hear that the Repubs have not completely lost their mojo.

Christine on July 26, 2008 at 11:25 PM

JohnD,
“BILL TO DRILL”
That has a different meaning with this administration, doesn’t it?
exhelodrvr

Uh, from what I heard, Bill rarely drilled. The shrinks said that he drew that line, not only to maintain some semblance of ‘fidelity’, but because of some archetypal phobia…It doesn’t make any sense, I know.

Christine on July 26, 2008 at 11:35 PM

The picture of Dingy Harry on the front page makes me think the boy with the banjo in Deliverance grew up and went to Washington.

91Veteran on July 26, 2008 at 11:47 PM

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