SENATOR MURKOWSKI URGES SENATE TO PASS DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL, ANWR
On the eve of important Senate votes on the FY06 Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations bill, which includes language to open ANWR, Senator Lisa Murkowski urged all Senators to pass the bill which she said is vital for the country's priorities.
"The DOD appropriations bill not only provides critical funding for our nation's military at a time when we are at war, it will open ANWR, provide relief for the states damaged by hurricane Katrina, increase funding for LIHEAP (Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program), and fund efforts to combat Avian flu," Murkowski said. "When you look at all that this bill encompasses, it is vital that it be taken up and passed before we adjourn for the year."
A series of votes on the DOD Appropriations bill and on ANWR are expected in the Senate tomorrow morning.
"ANWR is not only a legislative priority of Senate leadership, it is a top energy priority of the President and is a national priority because this country desperately needs another secure source of domestic energy production," Murkowski told reporters today. The expansion of our domestic energy resources should be a real concern for the entire Congress.
"There are some who say that ANWR has no place in this Defense bill. Truth be told, ANWR's opponents don't want it anywhere and will reject any legislation that will allow us to pass it. To his credit, Sen. Stevens is using the procedural mechanisms of the Senate to advance this legislation and it is my hope that within the next 24 hours we will be successful in the 25 plus year effort to open ANWR."
Responding to the possibility that Senate Democrats will filibuster the DOD Appropriations bill because it contains ANWR, Murkowski said that, "If there is a filibuster, they cannot escape that it will be a filibuster of the Defense Appropriations bill. I think most of my colleagues will have a very difficult time saying that they would do anything that will jeopardize our men and women in the field."