December 22, 2005

More thoughts on the ANWR Vote

Carroll Andrew Morse

The Defense Department appropriations bill has passed, with the ANWR drilling provision removed. If I read this right, the move to remove the ANWR provision passed the Senate 48-45, with 7 Senators not voting. Senator Lincoln Chafee was one of the 7 not voting.

Since Senator Chafee is also listed as “Not Voting” for the final Defense appropriation bill which passed by a vote of 93-0 a little later in the evening, I am guessing that this was a case of Senator Chafee not being physically present for the vote, not some sort of protest or procedural move. Still, I wonder if, just to be sure, Senator Chafee calls up the Democratic whip and asks “do you need me on this one?” before leaving for the evening.

The ANWR vote also begs a question for all those who argue that it is impossible for Congress to cut pork spending. ANWR drilling was put into the Defense Appropriation by Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska. I seem to recall reading arguments that individual Senators could not hope to defy the will of a powerful Senator like Ted Stevens on a pure-pork project like the Bridge to Nowhere and still be effective in the Senate. Yet on this issue, many Senators – including Lincoln Chafee – did make a stand against Senator Stevens. So if a bipartisan group of Senators can make a stand on this issue, why can’t a bipartisan group of fiscally responsible Senators also make a stand on runaway pork spending?

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Probably because the McCain "Fiscal watch team" has recruited only six other Senators thus far. Mssr Chafee is not among this cadre. How could he be? If he joined an anti-pork fraternity, 3/4 of the press releases on his website would have to be jettisoned. However, Steve Laffey would sign up immediately.

Posted by: bountyhunter at December 22, 2005 11:38 AM

Liberals would like everyone to believe that we've overspent to a point that our country is doomed. I recall the same arguments being made during the Reagan administration: defense spending and large deficits were going to doom the United States. If the deficits didn't kill us, the Japanese would surely take over the country. Riiight.

Here's a newsflash. Despite what the media would have you believe, our country is doing well economically. The Democrats want nothing more than to destabilize the Republican majority and are trying to use scare tactics to take back the House and Senate. So if you want to help the Democrats out, vote against every Republican incumbent. Maybe Harry Reid will send you a Christmas (oops, "holiday") card next year.

Posted by: Anthony at December 22, 2005 11:42 PM