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Republicans Demand an Energy Vote

08/03/2008

House Republicans kept up the drumbbeat for lower gas prices as speeched continued on the House floor in defiance of the August recess.

23 legislators took to the floor as staffers eagerly led tour groups into the chairs normally occupied by elected officials.  Vacationing Americans around the room, visiting their capitol, got a first hand introduction to how government works, or in this case, doesn't.

More than a call to drill in the OCS or ANWR, speeches were a plea for a vote on the American Energy Act.  One after another, legislators asked that the bill be brought to the floor with open rules, giving members a chance to bring amendments and truly debate the viability of the legislation.

If the legislation is such a bad idea, Speaker Pelosi should have nothing to fear from a real vote on the policy.

Newsbusters has this great exchange between Georger Stephanopoulos and Nancy Pelosi:

STEPHANOPOULOS: … You've been getting a lot of heat on -- for not allowing a vote, a straight up-or-down vote on expanding drilling off the coasts of the United States. Why won't you permit a straight up- or-down vote?

PELOSI: … What these -- what our colleagues are talking about is something that won't have an effect for 10 years and it will be 2 cents at the time. If they want to present something as part of an energy package, we're talking about something. But to single shoot on something that won't work and mislead the American people as to thinking it's going to reduce the price at the pump, I'm just not going to be a party of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Except that it's not just Republicans calling for this. Members of your own caucus say we must have a vote. Congressman Jason Altmire, let me show our viewers right now, is saying there's going to be a vote. Here he says exactly, there's going to be a vote. September 30th will not come and go without a vote on opening the outer continental shelf. The message has been delivered. The issue can't be ignored any longer. He says he speaks for a lot of Democrats. He's talked to the leadership, and a vote must happen.

As they spoke, each Representative asked that Americans call the Speaker's office asking for a vote: 202-224-3121.

Rep. Mike Conaway (TX) had four steps to advance real energy policy:

1. Call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 202-224-3121

2. Call your member of Congress

3. Write a letter to the editor - your Congressman reads them

4. Call talk radio shows