Last week, a group of 12 House Republicans, including Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, signed a letter encouraging Republican leadership to pass a tax overhaul without a provision that would allow oil drilling in parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
But the provision was included in the Senate's tax bill, and is likely to stay when House and Senate negotiators finalize the bill on Friday.
On Thursday, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee called out the 12 Republicans for engaging in "pure posturing."
"It is now clear that the letter from twelve House Republicans opposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was pure posturing," Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell said. "If these Republicans want to stop their party from turning the refuge into an oilfield, they should vote no. Lip service won't protect the Arctic."
Six of the 12 Republicans who signed the letter, including Curbelo, voted in favor of the initial tax bill before Thanksgiving.
Curbelo hasn't indicated that he will vote against the tax bill even though he opposes expanding oil drilling in Alaska's North Slope. He is also the co-founder of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, a group of Democratic and Republican lawmakers who are concerned about the impacts of climate change.
"I don’t think there’s any one provision that would motivate me to deny tax relief for all of my constituents," Curbelo said this week.
Curbelo has been a vocal advocate for the tax overhaul, frequently appearing with Speaker Paul Ryan and touting the bill in Spanish.