Oil Spill Bill Gets Shelved

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska’s Democratic Senator Mark Begich’s decision to vote “no” on his party’s oil spill bill contributed to the legislation getting shelved on Tuesday.

The Senate Majority Leader, Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, pulled the plug on the bill he had crafted and hoped to bring to the floor this week.  Instead it will wait until after the August recess, which starts this weekend and lasts a month.

Reid blamed Republicans for not getting on board, but Senator Begich and his fellow Democrat, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, were also opposed.

Begich disliked the Democrats’ plan to do away with a cap on the amount of liability money oil companies are responsible for in the case of a spill.  He also disagreed with their model for revenue sharing.

But Begich said with some tweaks, he would have crossed party lines and voted for a Republican version of a spill bill.

Begich wanted the Republicans to hammer out their liability cap details to make sure taxpayers aren’t the stop-gap in a worst-case spill.

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