President Bush repealed the executive ban on offshore oil drilling, trying to apply pressure on Democrats in Congress to go along.

"With this action, the executive branch's restrictions on this exploration have been cleared away," Bush said at a press conference Monday. "This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress. Now the ball is squarely in Congress's court. Democratic leaders can show that they have finally heard the frustrations of the American people by matching the action I have taken today, repealing the congressional ban, and passing legislation to facilitate responsible offshore exploration."

Bush also said that it has been nearly a month since he called on Congress to lift its ban.

"And as the Democratically controlled Congress has sat idle, gas prices have continued to increase," he said. "Failure to act is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to me, and it's unacceptable to the American people."