Wayne Allard

Congress votes to halt oil in reserve

WASHINGTON -- Jittery about a political backlash over gasoline costs as prices set yet another record yesterday, Congress voted to halt deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in defiance of President Bush.

The action was expected to have a modest impact on pump prices, saving motorists an estimated 2 cents to 5 cents a gallon, backers said. But its overwhelming support, including from Bush's usual GOP allies, underscored the potency of fuel costs as a campaign issue this year.

The measure is likely to be one of the few Congress approves this year in response to public angst at the pump as Democrats and Republicans agreed on little else yesterday to bring down...