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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Nelson urges $10 billion damage cap for oil spill; GOP senator objects

Sen. Bill Nelson is on the Senate floor arguing for a bill that would increase the cap for oil spill damages to $10 billion from $75 million.

"I'm not sure $10 billion is going to be enough," the Florida Democrat said. "But it was a target. Let's hope it never gets to that. But thus far, nothing has worked."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is speaking now, objecting to the bill. She said $10 billion in liability would hurt smaller independent companies. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., scoffed at the "mom and pop" allusion.

UPDATE: Murkowski's objection dashes hope for a quick vote, as unanimous consent would be needed. "I’m really disappointed some of my colleagues decided to block the legislation to hold BP accountable for this environmental disaster," Nelson said in a statement afterward.

In a Tweet he added, "Senator from Alaska just sandbagged my bill."

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:37am]

    

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