All last week, I’ve been calling around my various contacts, asking them what’s been going on in the world. I hate being in the dark, so to speak, and hate to think that I’m missing a huge news story. Well, I missed something all right. I only missed the best thing to happen to the House of Representatives since the Democrats took over! House Republicans revolted on Friday to protest when the Democrats adjourning for a five-week vacation without doing anything about the energy crisis. Pioneer Pelosi responded by having the lights, mics, and CSPAN cameras turned off. But Republicans wouldn’t be deterred.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House, turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi’s refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m., and they are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.
At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz..) was speaking, the lights went back on and the microphones were turned on shortly afterward.
But C-SPAN, which has no control over the cameras in the chamber, has stopped broadcasting the House floor, meaning no one was witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has now left.
Only about a half-dozen Republicans were on the floor when this began, but the crowd has grown to about 20, according to Patrick O’Connor.
“This is the people’s House,” said Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.). “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”
Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt, and reporters were kicked out of the Speaker’s Lobby, the space next to the House floor where they normally interview lawmakers.
“You’re not covering this, are you?” complained one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans “morons” for staying on the floor.
Update: The Capitol Police are now trying to kick reporters out of the press gallery above the floor, meaning we can’t watch the Republicans anymore. But Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is now in the gallery talking to reporters, so the cops have held off for a minute. Clearly, Democrats don’t want Republicans getting any press for this episode. GOP leaders are trying to find other Republicans to rotate in for Blunt so reporters aren’t kicked out.
Update 2: This message was sent out by Blunt’s office:
“Although this Democrat majority just adjourned for the Democrat 5-week vacation, House Republicans are continuing to fight on the House floor. Although the lights, mics and C-SPAN cameras have been turned off, House Republicans are on the floor speaking to the taxpayers in the gallery who, not surprisingly, agree with Republican energy proposals.
“All Republicans who are in town are encouraged to come to the House floor.”
Update 3: Democrats just turned out the lights again. Republicans cheered.
And they’re back at it again today:
House Republicans will be back on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives again Monday to continue the unprecedented protest that began last Friday, when dozens of Republicans joined hundreds of American citizens on the House floor to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) decision to send Congress home for the rest of the summer without a vote on legislation to lower gas prices and move America toward energy independence.
In an urgent memo sent to GOP Members and staff Saturday (“A Call to Action on American Energy”), Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) hailed Friday’s action, which was led by Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Tom Price (R-GA), and others, and encouraged House Republicans to return to the Capitol beginning Monday morning to help keep the historic effort going.
“It’s not a request we make lightly. But the American people are suffering,” Boehner and Blunt said in the memo. “The consequences of continued congressional inaction on gas prices are unacceptable. We’ve called on the Speaker to call Congress back into an emergency session this month and schedule a vote on the American Energy Act. We must continue to make a stand until the Speaker complies.”
There are apparently 30 Republicans currently there… and oh, what a surprise, no Democrats. Pioneer Pelosi is too busy with her book tour to do her duty as Speaker of the House.
Message to Democrats: you should be in there with the Republicans. In the real world, we don’t get five week taxpayer-funded vacations. And when there is an honest-to-God crisis going on, and the government you control is the only thing standing between Americans and relief, you should be working every day to fix it. Your energy plan does not work, because you have no energy plan!
Rep. Devin Nunes from California gives us a brilliant representation of the Democrats energy plan:
This is a brilliant move for Republicans. Finally, some leadership from the GOP! Now that’s change I can believe in. This is exactly what they should be doing every day for the next five weeks, or until Democrats get off their lazy asses and get back to work. They shouldn’t be afraid to pound Democrats on their refusal to act, and they should be videotaping all of it. As Michelle suggests,
House GOP members should also be spreading the word to their local newspapers and local talk show hosts in their congressional districts to assail Nancy’s gag order and hammer the “Drill now” theme home.
And where’s the RNC? How about sending someone in a chicken costume to trail Nancy Pelosi during her hiatus? As the House Republicans asked repeatedly on Friday: What’s she so afraid of?
On 8/1, the House GOP brought it on.
Keep it going, turn it up, and make sure the American public sees you at work on proactive energy proposals to bring down the Pelosi Premium during the Democrats’ vacation.
This is the best thing that the Republicans could ever have done. If they keep this up, we might not see the massacre at the polls that we’ve all been dreading in November.
Get it, Republicans? Do your jobs, stick to your principles, and be unafraid to take on Democrats, and Americans will love you. It’s not that difficult.
Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin