House Republicans, in their push to ease restrictions on oil drilling, are crying foul that China drills for oil 50 miles off the coast of Florida while U.S. companies must sit on the sidelines.

The House GOP leadership office today circulated an op-ed Rep. George Radanovich (R-Ca.) has published in the Modesto Bee, in which Radanovich says, "China, thanks to a lease issued by Cuba, is drilling for oil just 50 miles off Florida's coast...Suffice to say that China doesn

Republicans are pushing to allow drilling between 50 and 200 miles off U.S. coasts, in areas where drilling is currently restricted. Republicans have hammered Democrats in recent months on rising gas prices, calling for Congress to ease drilling restrictions as a means to produce more oil and drive prices down.

In 2006, Cuba and China negotiated Chinese drilling in Cuban waters near Florida's coastline. Radanovich's office says that, while U.S. companies could not drill in those Cuban waters, drilling in nearby U.S. waters would allow them to tap the same reserves.