Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


ANWR drilling blocked for now

The Senate today blocked drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after 44 Senators voted against cloture on the defense approps bill.

Republican leaders could not break a Democratic filibuster threat over the drilling issue, falling three votes short of the 60 votes need to advance the defense spending bill to a final vote. Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., left the bill in limbo as he, Stevens and other GOP leaders gauged their next move.

The measure was widely expected to be withdrawn and reworked without the refuge language, although Stevens warned he was ready to stay until New Year's if necessary to fight for the drilling, a cause he has pursued for 25 of his 37 years in the Senate.

Democrats as well as a number of Republicans were already angered by Stevens' tactic that delayed action on the $453.5 billion defense bill including $29 billion for hurricane relief, the war and border security, and $2 billion to help low-income households pay this winter's heating expenses.

"Our military is being held hostage by this issue, Arctic drilling," fumed Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader.

Roll call vote here.


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