Saxby Chambliss Feels the Pressure

UPDATE — Aug. 15, 3:26 p.m.: Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) has signed the letter. Click here for an update to this post.

UPDATE — Aug. 15, 9:51 p.m.: My apologies to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. There’s no reason for him to sign the letter because it is addressed to him and Majority Leader Harry Reid. His name has been crossed off the list. That leaves 10.

Under pressure for his role in the ill-conceived Gang of 10 plan, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today signed a letter opposing an extension of the offshore drilling ban. However, there are still 12 other Republicans who have not yet lent their support to the Energy Freedom Day initiative.

The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), was released yesterday with signatures from 36 Republicans. It promises to “actively oppose” any attempt to extend bans on offshore drilling and oil shale beyond their expiration at the end of September. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) is mounting a similar campaign in the House.

Chambliss signed the letter after negative reaction to the Gang of 10 plan. Earlier today, RedState’s Erick Erickson questioned how Gang of 10 leader Sen. Lindsey Graham could sign both the DeMint letter and support the compromise plan, which only partially ends the drilling ban. The Gang of 10 proposal also relies on tax increases to fund renewable energy.

The 12 Republican senators who have yet to sign the letter include the GOP’s presidential nominee and Senate minority leader.

Norm Coleman (Minn.)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Bob Corker (Tenn.)
Elizabeth Dole (N.C.)
Chuck Hagel (Neb.)
Jon Kyl (Ariz.)
John McCain (Ariz.)
Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
Gordon Smith (Ore.)
Olympia Snowe (Maine)
Arlen Specter (Pa.)
John Thune (S.D.)