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House Republicans Refuse To Go Home – Demand Energy Vote

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The House of Representatives adjourned earlier today, but approximately 40 Republicans refused to leave the chamber. Instead, the are calling on Nancy Pelosi to bring the House back into session to vote on Republicans’ proposals to lower the cost of energy by increasing domestic supplies. Congressional Quarterly has a report:

Republicans want Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call the House back into session to vote on the GOP’s energy plan, which seeks an end to a long-standing moratorium on drilling along the outer continental shelf and also seeks to boost conservation and research on alternative energy sources.

“Bring the Congress back. Let’s have a real up or down vote,” Minority Leader John A. Boehner said after coming into the chamber from a press conference.

“The American people expect Congress to represent the will of the American people,” The Ohio Republican added, to the cheers of the group.

The event started before noon and looked like it could go on for some time. After awhile, the Republicans got the bright lights turned back on and got the sound system operating. They dragged big flip charts to make their points about energy.

Adam H. Putnam, R-Fla., said “This band of brothers here is staying late to make a point to the American people: We want to work,” he said. The Republicans in the chamber then clapped and chanted “Work, work, work.’’

Our friends over at Power Line said:

“Pelosi tried to minimize the publicity the Republicans will get by ordering the House gallery to be locked and the lights and microphones to be turned off, but Republicans got the equipment working again and escorted tourists onto the floor to witness their effort. Mike Pence says the group of Republican Congressmen is “prepared to stay here as long as we can.”

Democrats in Congress haven’t figured out how to deal with the explosive issue of rising energy costs. Pelosi, in particular, has a problem because if the Republicans’ American Energy Act were brought to the House floor for a vote, it would pass with a bipartisan majority. Hence Pelosi’s determination not to allow the House to vote on the Republican bill.

This morning, a group of House Republicans delivered a letter to Pelosi requesting that she call the House back into session to deal with the energy issue.

Will the Republicans be able to get traction with the voters? I think so, if the voters find out what is going on in Washington. Today’s stunt may help to get the word out.”

Pelosi’s staff did try to minimize the amount of attention the rump filibuster was getting. They ordered the staff of the press gallery to lock the doors to the balcony overlooking the chamber.

So, GOP members started a shuttle system, taking turns moving from floor to gallery to join reporters as they watched the proceedings.

Around 12:30 p.m., the bright TV lights in the chamber were turned off, as Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., was speaking.

Cantor didn’t miss a beat, declaring, “Turn off the lights, turn off the mikes, kick out the press because they [the Democrats] don’t want to deal with this important issue.”

I wonder how long it will be before demanding a vote on more energy will be labeled a “distraction” by Obama and Pelosi?

As Congressman John Campbell (Rep/CA) said: “You can turn off the lights, but you cannot silence the will of the American people.”


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