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The Nation | IN BRIEF/ WASHINGTON, D.C.

GOP Says It's 1 Vote Shy of Arctic Drilling Victory

March 12, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Senate Republicans say they have moved to within one vote of guaranteeing President Bush one of his top domestic priorities -- opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

The issue could be decided next week.

A GOP memo that circulated in the Senate expressed confidence that 49 senators will vote to drill in the refuge, starting a scramble in search of the lawmaker who would be needed to get the provision through as part of a budget measure.

The House is expected to pass the drilling provision.

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