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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson says oil-friendly colleagues 'playing games'

Sen. Bill Nelson just wrapped up a news conference where he and co-sponsors of legislation to raise the oil spill liability cap said they had revamped the proposal. Instead of taking it to $10 billion from the current $75 million, damages would now be unlimited.

But once again, the idea is facing opposition from pro-drilling senators. As Nelson was talking with reporter, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., was on the floor pushing for a plan to raise the cap based on the last four quarters of profits for a given company. The Republicans say they are open to an unlimited cap on BP but not all companies.

"They're playing games," Nelson said. "They're trying to protect some other oil companies."

Nelson also said he supports a compromise on "don't ask, don't tell." Congress would vote as early as this week on doing away with the policy affecting gays in the military but the change would not take effect until the Pentagon completes a study, by December, on the impact on troops.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:39am]


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