Democrats are worried that Republicans will allow drilling and oil rigs to go on in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. In previous years, Democrats have fought hard to prevent this from happening. However, Republicans have created a bill that they have tacked onto their tax plan that will allow the drilling to start. The funny part is that Democrats do not seem to be making a big deal about it like they previously used to do. In fact, it seems like nobody even notices.
Tammy Duckworth told Politico that this is not getting the attention it deserves. He explained that because it is being tacked onto the tax plan, Democrats have been largely focusing on aspects of the tax plan that they do not agree with. In addition, this detail has been buried under the storm of other news that has been going on over the past few weeks.
Angus King explains that this is actually the Republican strategy. They can get it passed by tacking it onto a larger tax bill so that it does not get attention. If they were to bring it to the Senate by its own, then Democrats would look into the details of it, would not approve it, and it would not pass. He added that the Republicans are trying to deliberately avoid a vote on the bill.
Another possible strategy that the Republicans may be considering could be to gain more support for the tax bill. It is possible that some people would not support the tax bill and tax reform on its own, but since they support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife they will end up voting for the bill.
Lisa Murkowski is one Republican who has supported drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has advanced a bill that would make drilling possible over the next 10 years. She wants that bill to be included in the tax reform package.