The Senate just failed to close debate on the Defense Spending Bill, after the Democrats, led by Sen. Maria Cantwell, filibustered the cynical inclusion of a provision that would open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. The motion failed 56 to 44; 60 votes were needed for cloture. Four Democrats voted yea, and three Republicans voted nay.
The AP has a quote from the victorious Sen. Cantwell:
“This is nothing more than legislative blackmail,” fumed Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., an ardent opponent to opening the Alaska refuge to oil companies.
I hope Congress enjoys their holiday in session, courtesy of Alaska’s blackmailing Sen. Ted Stevens.
The League of Conservation Voters has just issued a press release praising Cantwell’s leadership:
“We applaud Sen. Maria Cantwell for successfully leading the fight to reject this shameful political attempt to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Today’s vote to protect the Arctic represents the triumph of democracy over greed. Cynical attempts to hold hostage funds to support our troops, offer relief to hurricane ravaged states and warm the cold, old and poor in order to benefit a select few failed before our eyes.
“In addition, Sen. Cantwell’s ongoing efforts to prevent unneeded and dirty drilling in our pristine wilderness areas is another example of her commitment to fighting for Washington families and standing up to the big oil companies