GOP Senators Come Out Against Trump's Latest Policy Announcement.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are the first two GOP Senators to speak out against the Trump administration’s plan to allow offshore drilling off the coast of a number of U.S. states
Collins took to Twitter on Friday, calling the Interior Department’s plan a “significant risk” to the Maine’s economy and environment.
Earlier in the day, Rubio also released a statement outlining his opposition to the plan.
“I have long supported the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which is not slated to expire until 2022, and introduced legislation to extend the moratorium until 2027. As the Department of Interior works to finalize their draft plan, I urge Secretary Zinke to recognize the Florida Congressional delegation’s bipartisan efforts to maintain and extend the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and remove this area for future planning purposes.”
Florida GOP Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says she is also against the offshore drilling expansion.
Nobody wants another repeat of the deepwater horizon event of 2010 that nearly wiped out the Gulf of Mexico. More importantly, no GOP lawmaker wants to be the one who didn’t speak out against the move when the inevitable disaster does happen.
There’s a 30-day review period of the Interior Department’s expansion plan, but even with the GOP resistance, it might be wishful thinking to believe that the administration would suddenly reverse course, especially when the president is so desperate for a policy win to help his public image.
Of course, if Collins and/or Rubio are serious about stopping the plan, they can try to play hardball like Sen. Cory Gardner is planning to do about the marijuana issue. With John McCain absent from Congress battling illness, two rogue GOP Senators could hold up the entire legislative agenda on just about any issue until their demands are met. But let’s not hold our breath that this duo, who very famously flip-flopped on the recent tax cuts, would take such a bold stand.
Additionally Democratic governors on both coasts blasted the plan. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it “another federal assault on our environment” while California Gov. Jerry Brown vowed to block “this reckless, short-sighted action.”
A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would impose “severe and unacceptable harm” to America’s oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.