McConnell blasts Dems ahead of vote on GOP drilling bill

The legislation would require the Interior Department to hold lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia coast, set a timeline for review of pending offshore permit applications and extend leases in the Gulf for one year, among other things.

In his floor remarks, McConnell cast the bill as a modest "first step" in the Republican energy strategy.

“This bill isn’t our last on this crisis. We could do a lot more to increase production here at home — and we should," McConnell said. "But it offers solutions. And every provision in this bill has bipartisan support."

“At a time of near-record gas prices, this is a modest approach, a good first step that takes everyone’s concerns into account, so that we can actually achieve a practical result," he said. 

But the bill is too modest for at least two drill-state lawmakers. Louisiana Sens. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible MORE (D) and David VitterDavid Bruce VitterTrump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? Not the Senate's job to second-guess Alabama voters MORE (R) said Tuesday they will vote against the bill because it does not go far enough to expand domestic drilling and would put an additional layer of review on oil-spill response plans.