On Friday afternoon, after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi adjourned the House of Representatives for its summer break without allowing a vote on oil drilling, members of the Republican majority remained on the House floor, speaking, arguing and giving speeches despite the lights having been darkened and microphones silenced. C-SPAN, whose camera feed is on or off at the discretion of Speaker Pelosi, was also off-line at the time.
Even republicans who had left were coming back in a steady stream. Rep. Kevin Brady got off an airplane before takeoff and returned to cheering colleagues as he brought his luggage with him onto the House floor. Mike Rogers and Robert Bishop, of Michigan and Utah respectively, were spotted on the floor, making speeches in shorts and sandals.
At one point, Rep. Devin Nunes from California, off on the majority’s side of the chamber, pretended for a moment to be a democrat, shouting out a list of all GOP energy-related bills which had been shot down. Then, he shouted “I am a democrat, and here is my energy plan!” and held up a poster-sized photo of an old Volkswagen Beetle with a sail attached to it and paraded it around the chamber while everyone cheered.
A statement from House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office was later released:
In a dramatic revolt against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) refusal to allow Congress to vote on legislation to increase American-made energy and lower gas prices, House Republicans today refused to leave the House floor after Speaker Pelosi adjourned the House for the five-week August break, staying in the chamber to speak directly to Americans watching the historic event unfold above the floor in the House gallery. Even after lights, cameras, and microphones in the chamber were turned off, House Republicans were undeterred, continuing to make speech after speech demanding that Speaker Pelosi listen to the calls of the American people – including those coming from whistling, applauding, and cheering Americans sitting in the gallery – for more environmentally-responsible drilling for oil and gas here at home to reduce the price at the pump. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) defied the Democratic majority by providing live updates on the protest via Twitter directly from the House floor.
Members participating in the spontaneous uprising included Reps. Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Michael Burgess, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, Shelly Moore Capito, John Carter, Mike Conaway, John Culberson, Charlie Dent, Jeff Fortenberry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Pete Hoekstra, Duncan Hunter, Thaddeus McCotter, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Ted Poe, Adam Putnam, Bill Sali, John Shadegg, John Shimkus, Tim Walberg, and Lynn Westmoreland.
The protest came just minutes after House Republican leaders delivered a letter to Speaker Pelosi demanding that she call the House back into emergency session this month to deal with America’s ever-worsening energy crisis.
All of those who participated deserve phone calls and letters conveying appreciation on the part of all Americans, especially Georgia Rep. Tom Price and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, who both played a large role in putting this together.
Today, the House republicans are back at it. Rep. Pence has said he cannot believe that Congress is taking a five-week-long, paid vacation while Americans like you and me struggle to pump $4 per gallon gasoline. He stressed that the president should call a special session of Congress, bring them back, and force a vote.
On Friday, when Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich) stated that the chamber represents “the People’s House” and “not Pelosi’s politburo,” he was absolutely correct.
Last month, when President Bush first lifted the ban offshore oil drilling and encouraged a congressional vote, oil dropped by more than $9 per barrel — that day. Imagine what effect actual resolve, actual action would have on world gas prices.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the democrats in power in Congress are there to represent us. They work for us. The majority of Americans do not want to pay so much at the gasoline pump, and many don’t like that we are so dependent upon countries who hate us for the oil that drives our cars, heats our homes, and greases the wheels of our economy. What the congressional republicans did on Friday was something for Americans to be proud of — finally, they stood up for something that Americans care about, that Americans call about, that Americans think about and lose sleep over. It’s too bad that barely anybody in America knew about the little congressional revolt.
Sadly, because C-SPAN’s cameras had been extinguished by Pelosi, and because the mainstream media doesn’t want to paint the democrat-led Congress in a bad light, barely anybody heard of the spontaneous uprising. Flash back, however, to a stunt pulled by Harry Reid in May 2005 during which cots–ultimately unused–were brought in to demonstrate the democrats’ willpower in debating judicial nominations, and the story led the evening news. Unequivocally, no such coverage followed the republicans’ action on Friday, and I’m sure not much more can be expected today.
What is Pelosi afraid of? I’ll tell you. She is afraid of pigeonholing Barack Obama into taking a stand and casting a vote one way or another. She is afraid that the American public, given the chance to hear a debate on one of very few political subjects which transcend the superficial gap between the District of Columbia and office watercoolers in Anytown, USA, will finally understand that her action and inaction, that the nonfeasance and malfeasance of the Congress under Democratic party control, led to the dangerous and expensive predicament we are in now.
Simply put, she’s afraid of the lights finally going on in Washington, D.C., so she turned them off.
President Bush NEEDS to reconvene Congress, and he must do so as a matter of national security, as a matter of economic importance, and as a political matter as well. Force the mainstream media to cover this, and the debate will subsequently be forced upon the American people.
Prior to November, the American people must know that the democrats have no energy plan to speak of, no ideas about how America can free herself of foreign oil. Wind and solar power won’t do it alone. Ethanol is a crock of you-know-what, a net energy loss that drives up food prices across the globe and causes more environmental harm than good. And, with all due respect to Sen. Barack Obama, merely checking our tire pressure and getting a tune-up is NOT an energy plan.
Instead, the solution to our growing energy problem–as almost always–involves government getting out of the way. America is the only developed nation which bars access to its own resources, and the key to energy independence involves the restoration of that access. Congress must allow drilling in the outer continental shelf, in ANWR and beyond, and exploration and extraction of oil shale in the western United States. That, combined with reasonable assistance from alternatives and renewables such as solar and wind, and responsible conservation by the American public, is the only way to render us independent of the Middle East with respect to oil and energy needs. That, my friends, is an energy plan; that, my friends, is a plan which the political left is sorely lacking.
Without an energy plan which (1) is good for America and (2) fits into their socialist, globalist ideology, the democrats are left with nothing, which is why they have actively shot down daily requests for a vote on oil drilling. Instead, over the past few weeks, they have formally denounced and apologized for slavery and investigated the possibility of impeachment hearings for President Bush, a second-term president with less than six months left in the White House.
Proudly putting party before country — it should be the Democratic party slogan.
In the meantime, tell your friends about what happened today. Link them to this page, or others that tell the same story. Tell them why it’s so important. Even if it’s just for a good-hearted laugh, tell them about Rep. Nunes and his wind-powered VW bug.
We need to let the sun shine in and illuminate the goings-on in the United States House and Senate — I’m tired of the wool being pulled down over the eyes of Americans who care enough about America to look. We need to open up the dialogue between ordinary American men and women, so often dominated by sports and celebrity, to debate and events and causes and consequences that affect us all. Lastly, we need to show that many of the officials we select to represent us and maintain the safety, security and prosperity of America would gladly jeopardize all for sustained political power.