House joins Senate in demands for halt of oil shipments into reserves

The House of Representatives has voted 385 to 25 to halt oil shipments into the government's emergency petroleum reserve, saying the oil ought to be put on the market to lower energy prices. The Senate earlier passed a similar measure earlier Tuesday. But the White House said President George W. Bush is against stopping the shipments - about 70,000 barrels a day - and believes such a small amount would not affect gasoline prices. Democrats and Republicans joined in the call to suspend the shipments for the rest of the year. The Senate vote was 97 to 1. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve contains 701 million barrels of oil, about 97 percent of its maximum capacity.