After years of trying, the Senate cleared a major hurdle to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. Three Democrats joined 48 Republicans to defeat an amendment that would have removed ANWR from the fiscal 2006 budget, which cannot be filibustered. Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka defied Democrat pressure to cut ANWR from the budget. GOP defectors included Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Norm Coleman (Minn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mike DeWine (Ohio), John McCain (Ariz.), Gordon Smith (Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine). The measure still faces other tests, and Senate Democrats, led by Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), have vowed to find a way to defeat it.