TPM News

Rep. Bart Stupak told reporters on Capitol Hill today that he thinks the Oil Production Act will be reexamined "again and again and again" and that offshore drilling wasn't off the table but that the catastrophic oil spill is a "difficult hurdle" for advocates of drilling to overcome in the short term.

"We're still going to drill, but we will look at our plans better. We should learn from this one," Stupak (D-MI) said after an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing investigating the spill.

Stupak also said that it was too early for companies involved in the spill to identify exactly what went wrong. He said it was "premature" to detail what happened and said numerous studies must be finished before anything is known for certain.

Read More →

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has rounded up an impressive, bipartisan array of cosponsors to an amendment he authored requiring an audit of the Federal Reserve. Just today, he added Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to a list that includes 12 Republicans, seven Democrats, in addition to Sanders himself.

In the past, a different version of legislation opening up the fed to audit received 59 votes--one shy of the 60 required to break a filibuster. But eight of the Republicans who voted no are now cosponsors of Sanders' amendment. That should mean it's a shoo-in, right?

Not necessarily.

Read More →

A new Rocky Mountain Poll of Arizona finds the state's controversial new anti-illegal immigration law break down along clear lines of both partisanship and ethnicity.

The top-line number shows 52% in favor, to 39% opposed for Arizona's new law to require police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they believe could be in the country illegally -- a measure that has caused the state to be accused of racial profiling by many national commentators and politicians. The sample of Arizona adults has a ±3.9% margin of error.

Among whites, the law is supported by a margin of 65%-28%. Among Hispanics, though, support is at a mere 21%-69%, and among non-Hispanic minorities the law is at 29%-63%. When broken down by part, Republicans favor the law 76%-15%, Democrats oppose it 30%-58%, and independents favor it 60%-30%.

Read More →

With a stacked agenda, and time running out before midterm elections and the end of the year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he may have to eat into members' vacation time if they don't move quickly on issues like financial reform and nominations.

"I also told my caucus -- I haven't had a chance to tell Senator McConnell today -- I said there's no definite decision been made yet, but the first week of our vacation in August, don't put family vacations in there or something that you can't get out of, because we may have to be here," McConnell told reporters at his weekly press conference.

Reid says the Senate has no choice but to finish up work on financial reform next week, despite objections from his counter part, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, that the bill should be on the floor for more than two weeks.

A "conservation group" that struck a markedly optimistic tone in a front-page New York Times piece on the Gulf Coast oil spill is made up largely of oil industry executives, and its most recent board meeting was hosted by Transocean, the owner of the rig that exploded, ProPublica reports.

Quenton Dokken, the executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, told the Times, in a story headlined "Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?": "The sky is not falling. We've certainly stepped in a hole and we're going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn't the end of the Gulf of Mexico."

Read More →

Carly Fiorina is probably the most high-profile candidate in the 2010 California senate race -- perhaps even more than three-term incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D).  She's routinely profiled in national publications; her statements, good and bad, are quickly written up by almost every campaign reporter.  Indeed, Fiorina is so ubiquitous on the media radar that you could be forgiven for not realizing that she probably won't even make it to the general election.

Fiorina has stumbled, and now is a consistent second place candidate as the June 8 California GOP Senate primary fight shifts into high gear. Yet even as it's becoming increasingly clear that Carly Fiorina is not the candidate to watch, it's likely you've haven't heard much about the man she's losing to, or why she's failing to excite voters in California.

Read More →

Louisiana state Rep. Henry Burns (R) has introduced a bill in the Louisiana House that would allow churches to institute a "security plan" enabling congregants with concealed weapons permits to carry guns into churches and temples.

According to a Burns spokesperson, "we buy fire extinguishers in case there's a fire," and allowing churchgoers to carry concealed is just the "final stage of security" for places of worship.

Read More →

There are two broad categories of costs associated with the catastrophic BP Gulf oil spill: one is cleanup; the other is damage caused by the oil -- to shoreline property, local tax revenues, the fishing and tourism industries, and other businesses and individuals.

Here's a guide to who's on the hook for which costs.

Read More →