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Public Statements

Waving Points of Order Against Conference Report on H.R. 2863, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER AGAINST CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2863, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - December 18, 2005)

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Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time.

Every Member of the House should understand that they are about to cast the most important environmental vote of the decade. The vote on the rule on the Defense appropriations bill is a vote to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This provision was not in the House bill. This amendment was not in the Senate Bill. In violation of all House rules, this provision has been added to the Defense appropriations bill. A can't-pass measure has been added to a must-pass measure in order for the Republicans to give an early huge Christmas gift to the oil companies of the United States.

It is not enough that the Republicans have already tipped American consumers and taxpayers upside down all year for the oil companies. But now, after the oil companies registered $100 billion worth of profits, now, here on the Defense appropriations bill, the Republicans, waiving all rules of the House, have taken the number one environmental issue of the decade and they have slapped it onto the Defense appropriations bill.

The Republicans have said, or President Bush has said, the war in Iraq had nothing to do with oil. But here we are at 20 of 2 in the morning, with the Defense appropriations bill out here for the Republicans and what are they doing on the Defense appropriations bill? They are attaching an oil amendment to drill in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. This whole myth that the Republicans do not fight wars over oil, do not corrupt the way in which the rules of the House are conducted in order to advance the agenda of the oil industry is once and for all put to rest here where the Members cannot even vote straight up or down on whether or not they want to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

And let me make it clear to everyone who might have some pangs of conscience about our fighting men and women in Iraq, which every one of us wants to help, if you vote ``no'' on this rule, the Rules Committee in 5 minutes is going to bring another rule back down here without the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in it, and we will be able to fund everything that we want to do for every single soldier and marine in Iraq.

So do not let yourself be fooled by that. They just did it. We are doing stuff for drug companies in this bill that was just added. We are doing stuff for the oil companies in this bill that was just added. And if you think for a minute after we vote down this rule because it is the single worst anti-environmental bill in history that they are not going to have the bill right back out here in a nanosecond, then you are kidding yourself.

So that is not the cover. If you want to drill in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, you do so. But that is your environmental vote. The next vote will be on the Defense appropriations itself. This is on a rule that is banning, barring Members from having a straight up-or-down vote on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We reach this point at the end of the year where the House and the Senate majority, lead by the White House, is contorting the rules of both institutions in a way which will set precedence for a generation in order to accomplish a goal which should not in fact be considered on this Defense appropriations bill. So in order to preserve the integrity of the rules of the House, in order to ensure that we give the full consideration to the historic importance of voting in this body to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I urge a ``no'' vote.

And each and every Member should be warned that this will be the number one environmental vote not just of this year but of the decade. I urge a ``no'' vote.

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