Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sensenbrenner Does a Good Thing (But Disavows It)

In August, 24 Republicans signed a letter opposed to sneaking Alaskan wildlife refuge oil drilling into the budget bill. Jim Sensenbrenner was one of them.

Jim's fellow Republicans praised him and the other letter writers:
REP America, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for environmental protection, today welcomed the House Rules Committee's removal of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling authorization from the budget reconciliation bill and praised Republicans who forced leadership to do the right thing and strip the drilling language....

REP America opposes drilling in the Arctic Refuge because it is a dead-end energy strategy that will destroy a spectacular piece of America's natural heritage and perpetuate our country's dangerous dependence on oil. "This shouldn't be an either-or question. We can secure clean, reliable, and affordable energy, and still protect America's special places, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge"....
It was good of Jim to sign that letter, which included language like "one of the last large pristine natural environments left in our country" and "this natural treasure."

But then Jim had to go and spoil it. Here's his recent press release, courtesy of WisPolitics:
(Washington, DC) -- Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) today clarified his support for the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act [by the way, isn't his party responsible for the current whopping deficit?], legislation that will slow the run-a-way [sic] growth of government spending.

Several media reports on the issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), including today’s Wall Street Journal, have mischaracterized the Congressman’s position on the budget legislation.

“With or without oil drilling provisions, I strongly support a budget reconciliation bill that will reduce the deficit [perhaps by ending the huge tax breaks to the super-wealthy?] and restore fiscal sanity to federal spending” said Rep. Sensenbrenner. “I oppose the inclusion of any ANWR-related provisions in the budget reconciliation bill and have written House leaders urging that a provision to permit drilling in ANWR not be included in this legislation. However, one single issue should not stand in the way of the larger goal of bringing our budget into balance,” Sensenbrenner concluded.
So, according to Sensenbrenner, the pristine natural treasure must be sacrificed to assure cuts in food stamps, Medicaid, child support enforcement, and student loans. Way to go, Jim.