The House is approaching a bill authorizing exploration in ANWR. Because some GOP Reps are on record as opposing the exploration, there is some desire to drop the provision now and reinsert it into the conference package, thereby strengthening the vote for the overall package.
The House leadership should force the vote and bring clarity to the make-up of the GOP’s caucus. At a time of soaring gas prices and genuine middle-class distress over prices at the pump, the GOP has got to be seen as the party willing to tackle the problem instead of proposing windmills in every backyard. If anti-ANWR-exploration Republicans lose the budget bill and the ANWR exploration, why support them at all? Such a vote means their antipathy to exploration trumps bedrock GOP principles on the size of government.
I’d like clarity on who is who in the GOP, and the caucus should as well, while there is still time to mount primary campaigns where they might help.