October 10, 2001
12:00 AM
WASHINGTON -- Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski today called on Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) to reconsider his decision to suspend committee action on energy legislation. Murkowski told reporters on Capitol Hill today he is disappointed and troubled by the Majority Leader's action. "Senator Daschle has subverted the will of the Energy Committee, the will of the Senate, and the will of the American people--all in order to deny the President a political 'win,'" Murkowski said. "The American people were promised action on an energy bill. In turning a matter of national security into a partisan issue, the Majority Leader's action is the height of irresponsibility. "Chairman Bingaman has announced that Sen. Daschle and a select group of Senate Democrats will write an energy bill and bring it directly to the Senate floor. This is an affront to the committee process. There will be no mark-up in the Energy Committee and there will be no open, public debate on a national energy policy," Murkowski said. "How can there be balance in the bill without any input from rank-and-file Democrats, let alone from the Minority? "Our nation's strength lies in our ability to openly debate issues. This decision subverts the very democratic process that makes us so strong in troubled times," Murkowski said. "This is a return to the days of the proverbial smoke-filled rooms and represents the very worst type of politicking. "The House, recognizing that energy security is integral to national security, has done its job by passing comprehensive energy legislation," Murkowski said. "I urge the Democratic Leader to reconsider this decision and give us a time certain for a floor debate. The people's business should be conducted in an open, honest, and forthright manner." ###