Oil Spill Politics: Democratic Maneuvers

It's no surprise that Democrats will try to tie Republicans to the BP oil spill. Republican senators did not fly down to the Gulf Coast and sabotage the Deepwater Horizon rig, but Democrats have been accusing Republicans of being in Big Oil's pocket for years, ever since Vice President Dick Cheney's energy policy task force.

But how will they do it? What actual positions will Democrats highlight, in their quest to pin Republicans to oil? CongressDaily's Dan Friedman reports:
The White House and Senate Democrats are linking the spill to a resolution by Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski disapproving of EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases, energy and climate change legislation that could hit the floor in July and even tax "extenders" legislation now on the floor.

Those steps follow repeated Democratic efforts to win unanimous consent to lift a federal oil spill liability cap for companies. Each time they ripped Republicans for blocking the measures.

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Republicans call such efforts politicization of the disaster. Democrats say bringing up the spill draws a valid contrast between the parties and is unavoidable given concern with the Gulf disaster.

This is on top of the campaign contributions doled out by Halliburton since the spill (they gave to 13 Republicans and one Democrat), something Democrats are pouncing on.