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Akin, Shimkus vote to end offshore drilling ban

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By AP/KWMU

Washington, DC – Members of the U.S. House from the St. Louis area voted along party lines on two measures Thursday; one would end an offshore drilling ban, the other condemns media outlets that disclosed a secret surveillance program.

OFFSHORE DRILLING

Democrat Ike Skelton joined all five Missouri Republicans in the House in supporting the drilling legislation. John Shimkus of Illinois also voted for it.

St. Louis Democrats Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay, and along with Jerry Costello, of Illinois, voted it.

The measure passed on a 232-187 vote. It would allow energy companies to tap natural gas and oil beneath waters from New England to Alaska.

Opponents of the federal ban say the nation needs to move closer to energy independence. They insist the gas and oil can be taken without threatening the environment and coastal beaches. They say a state choosing to keep the moratorium could do so.

But the bill's prospects in the Senate are uncertain. Florida's two senators say they will filibuster any legislation that would allow drilling within 125 miles of the Florida coast. Other senators from several coastal states also strongly oppose ending the drilling restrictions.

RESOLUTION ON SURVEILLENCE PROGRAM

Democrat Skelton again joined Republicans Todd Akin, Roy Blunt, Jo Ann Emerson, Sam Graves and Kenny Hulshof in voting for the resolution Thursday. It condemns news organizations for revealing a secret government program to track terrorist financing.

Illinois' John Shimkus also voted for it, while Carnahan, Clay and Costello voted no.

It passed on a 227-183 largely party-line vote.

The resolution did not specifically name the news organizations, but it was aimed at the New York Times and other news media that reported on a secret program to track millions of financial records in search of terrorists.

Offshore Drilling Ban
(HRes 4761; roll call 356)

St. Louis Area Congressmen voting YES
Todd Akin (R-MO)
JoAnn Emerson (R-MO)
Kenny Hulshof (R-MO)
John Shimkus (R-IL)
St. Louis Area Congressmen voting NO
Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO)
Jerry Costello (D-IL)

Surveillence Resolution
(HRes 895; roll call 357)

St. Louis Area Congressmen voting YES
Todd Akin (R-MO)
JoAnn Emerson (R-MO)
Kenny Hulshof (R-MO)
John Shimkus (R-IL)
St. Louis Area Congressmen voting NO
Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO)
Jerry Costello (D-IL)

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