Every day on the Senate floor is more and more like "Barbara in Wonderland." Sometimes the Senate seems so foreign to me, I wonder if I'm living in some kind of bad dream. And just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it has.
Read on to learn more about this week's Senate Republican scheme to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling -- and then reject these radical efforts by signing my petition to Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist.
Last week, the Senate debated and passed a horrible new bankruptcy bill -- a sweetheart deal providing a huge financial windfall to big credit card companies while punishing the lower-income Americans these companies prey upon. I thought for sure when I offered a common-sense amendment that would place a modicum of responsibility on these credit card companies it would surely pass. Well... it didn't. Imagine voting against this:
My amendment proposed that if a credit card company gives a seventh credit card to a person under age 21; a person with below poverty-level income; without the credit card company asking for a co-signer -- then the bankrupcy judge should take into consideration the fact that the credit card company should have known better if that young person files for bankruptcy.
My amendment wouldn't automatically exonerate that young person, mind you. It just said that the judge should be able to take these circumstances into account during the bankruptcy process. Seems to make sense, right?
Well we only got forty votes on my common-sense amendment. And unfortunately, this is the way it's going. The American people and their interest come in FAR behind the powerful special interests.
Now we face the ultimate special interest issue: Drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For six months of oil, not to be realized for ten years, my colleagues seem bent on handing over this most pristine land to the big oil companies. Never mind that we can save the equivalent of an infinite number of ANWR fields by simply raising fuel economy a modest amount -- that doesn't matter. The Republicans don't care about the native peoples whose lives will be ruined; they don't care that President Eisenhower set this land aside; they don't care about the more than one hundred species of wildlife that depend on this refuge.
What they do care about is the precedent. If they open up ANWR, they'll think they can do anything to the environment -- anything at all. Drilling in Yosemite? In the Grand Canyon? What's next?
Stand with me and reject any attempts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling -- sign my petition today!
I urgently need your help. Last week, the Republican leadership snuck a provision into the Budget bill that moves us one step closer to opening ANWR to drilling. It's a sneaky way of trying to get what they want without having to vote on it directly.
We can't let that happen! I urge you to sign my new petition to Republican Leader Bill Frist -- tell him that any Republicans who vote to open up the Alaska wilderness to oil drilling will pay a price in the next election. The Budget bill with this terrible ANWR provision will be up for a vote in the Senate by the end of the week. Let the Republican leadership know that we won't forget the votes they cast.
Sign my petition to Bill Frist today -- stand firm against Republican efforts to open up ANWR!
I need you now more than ever. Please stand with me on this critical issue.
P.S. Thanks to the more than 14,000 of you who contacted your Members of Congress in support of the Count Every Vote Act last month! I'll keep you posted on our progress with this important election reform legislation in the coming weeks.