MODERATE REPUBLICANS ISSUE LETTER ON OFF-SHORE OIL DRILLING
Eighteen Moderate Republican Members of Congress released a letter today to House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) arguing that no further efforts should be made to promote the House bill on off-shore oil drilling (H.R. 4761).
In the letter, which was led by Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the Moderates state, "The American people made clear on Election Day that it wants Congress to take pragmatic, targeted approaches to solving problems rather than engaging in ideological sparring. Continuing efforts to promote the House bill...would signal that we have not gotten the message of Election Day."
The Moderates say that "if the House needs to consider" an off-shore oil drilling bill, then "we ought to take up the Senate-passed bill without any changes." The letter concludes with a note that clarifies that that does not mean that all of the signers would vote for such a bill.
The full text of the letter follows:
Mr. John Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Leader:
We understand that a bill to allow oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) may be one of the items considered during the remainder of the Congressional session. We opposed the House OCS bill (H.R.4761) when it came before us in June, and we continue to do so. If the House needs to consider an OCS bill, we ought to take up the Senate-passed bill without any changes.*
The American people made clear on Election Day that it wants Congress to take pragmatic, targeted approaches to solving problems rather than engaging in ideological sparring. Continuing efforts to promote the House bill - which could open the entire U.S. coastline to oil drilling, and which would sweep away environmental protections, undermine local control, and increase the deficit - would signal that we have not gotten the message of Election Day.
We urge you to ensure that this sensitive issue is handled in the appropriate manner.
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL)
Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD)
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL) Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE)
Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY) Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT)
Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT)
Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH) Rep. James Leach (R-IA)
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-IL)
* NOTE: This letter is not intended to suggest that all the signers would vote for the Senate bill, but rather that, if an OCS bill is brought to the floor, it should be the unamended Senate bill. Several Members who voted against H.R. 4761 did not sign this letter because they did want to say even that much about the Senate bill.