Spill bills highlight Republican opposition

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House and Senate Democratic leaders Tuesday rolled out their big “spill bills” — the main legislative responses to the Gulf oil spill. The proposals are packed with aggressive offshore drilling reforms that Republicans have long fought and were immediately met with fierce pushback from the GOP and the oil industry.

That could make it tough to get the bills passed, especially in the Senate, where a handful of oil-state Democrats may cross the aisle to vote against the package. But strategists say the Republican “no” votes will also benefit Democrats politically — and some Republicans say that’s why the so-called poison pill provisions were included.

“If, after the worst oil spill in the history of the country, Republicans were to vote no against new offshore drilling protections — can you imagine the ads?” asked one senior Democratic aide.

Full story: Spill bills highlight Republican opposition – Coral Davenport –