House rejects three Dem amendments to Gulf drilling bill

The second, from Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), would require the Department of the Interior to consult with an independent drilling safety organization not affiliated with the oil industry before granting a permit. Republicans argued that the main bill already includes language on safety, and this was rejected in a similar 169-240 vote.

The third, from Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would require the implementation of basic safety reforms recommended by the BP oil spill commission, including standards for blow-out preventers, cementing and well design. Republicans said this again is duplicative, and it was rejected in a 176-237 vote.

The House debated three other amendments to the bill earlier in the day, but were expected to vote on them Wednesday. After the three votes, the House resumed consideration of four additional amendments, and concluded just before 8 p.m. Votes on remaining amendments will be taken up Wednesday, but none are expected to pass.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) predicted during the debate that regardless of which amendments are approved or rejected, the entire bill is going nowhere.

"The Republicans will pass this particular measure," he said. "It will go to that black hole over in the Senate, and never become the law of the United States."

-- This post was updated at 7:57 p.m.

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