Sen. Vitter’s Offshore Drilling Tantrum Continues
Fresh off a tongue-lashing over his hypocrisy last week, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is back in the news. The ethically and morally challenged senator, with an affinity for prostitutes, is still set on obstructing the Senate.
Back in May, you may recall, Sen. Vitter blocked a pay raise for Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ken Salazar unless and until the department began issuing new deepwater exploratory permits in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s a textbook bribe; and we called him on it.
Vitter still is apparently sore about the offshore drilling issue, and seems intent on getting more drilling permits for his pals, no matter what. According to Politico today, he’s putting a procedural hold on former American Rivers President Rebecca Wodder’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at Interior unless hundreds of Gulf drilling leases set to expire this year are extended.
Sen. Vitter’s opposition is just “more of the same” in pay-to-play Washington. Too often elected officials are more concerned about special interests lining their pockets than they are with the health and safety needs of their constituents. It’s also yet another example of the Senate’s gross dysfunction.
Equally troubling is the habit of Congress lately to stonewall any progress whatsoever when it comes to presidential nominees. As we’ve noted before, 25 percent of confirmable positions remain vacant. It’s no wonder one scholar describes the confirmation process as “nasty and brutish, without being short.” The current confirmation process discourages some of the most talented from being able to serve their country. Certainly, no member of Congress should be able to hijack the nomination process to appease corporate and special interests.