What: All Issues : Environment : Oceanic Conservation : (H.R. 3534, H.R. 5851) Legislation imposing new safety regulations on companies engaging in oil drilling and repealing the $75 million cap on oil companies’ liabilities relating to oil spills, as well as separate legislation prohibiting employers involved in offshore oil drilling from discriminating against who report suspected safety violations to federal or state officials.– On the resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to both bills
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(H.R. 3534, H.R. 5851) Legislation imposing new safety regulations on companies engaging in oil drilling and repealing the $75 million cap on oil companies’ liabilities relating to oil spills, as well as separate legislation prohibiting employers involved in offshore oil drilling from discriminating against who report suspected safety violations to federal or state officials.– On the resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to both bills
house Roll Call 500     Jul 30, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to legislation (H.R. 3534) imposing new safety regulations on companies engaging in oil drilling, and repealing the $75 million cap on oil companies’ liabilities relating to oil spills. The resolution also limited debate and amendments on separate legislation (H.R. 5851) prohibiting employers involved in offshore oil drilling from discriminating against who report suspected safety violations to federal or state officials. Democrats brought up both bills in response to the BP oil spill on April 20, 2010 that wreaked environmental havoc on the Gulf Coast region of the United States.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) urged support for the resolution, as well as both of the underlying bills: “Today, we are considering two bills that will help address some of our most egregious problems. This bill will provide protection for whistleblowers who alert the government to dangerous violations of federal law. Nobody should be forced to choose between his or her job and reporting unsafe conditions. It will also improve the leasing process, making sure all companies follow the environmental and safety rules, and it will ensure royalties are paid on all oil drilled or spilled.”

Rep. Pete Sessions urged opposition to the resolution as well as both underlying bills: “Today, we are discussing two bills that are reactions to the gulf oil spill crisis. While reforms are clearly needed to make the American offshore drilling safer and cleaner, today's legislation requires new blanket regulations without a good sense of, I think, what the problem was and what the facts say. The investigation of events [relating to the BP oil spill] should be completed so that Congress can act intelligently and correctly. The focus should be on permanently stopping the leak, on cleaning up the oil, on assisting gulf coast communities, on holding BP accountable, and on finding the cause of the disaster. We ought to wait until we get that.”

The House agreed to the resolution by a vote of 220-194. 220 Democrats voted “yea.” 220 Democrats voted “yea.” 165 Republicans and 29 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to formal floor debate on legislation repealing the $75 million cap on oil companies’ liabilities relating to oil spills, as well as separate legislation prohibiting employers involved in offshore oil drilling from discriminating against who report suspected safety violations to federal or state officials.

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