Quick hits from the House floor this morning:
Rep. Tom Price (GA) emceed the event, introducing new speakers. Apparently the revolt was the brainchild of he and Rep. Mike Pence (IN).
Rep. Mike Conaway (TX): reminded listeners that in Speaker Pelosi’s inaugural address she said this would be the open Congress in history, yet an entire debate is being shut down and the will of a vast majority of Americans is not even being considered.
Here’s that speech from Pelosi back in 2007:
“Let us join together … to make this Congress the most honest and open in history. This openness requires respect for every voice in the Congress. As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.’ My colleagues elected me to be Speaker of the House – the entire House. Respectful of the vision of our Founders, the expectations of our people, and the great challenges we face, we have an obligation to reach beyond partisanship to serve all Americans. “Let us all stand together to move our country forward, seeking common ground for the common good…”
Rep. John Kline (MN): reminded everyone that "We need to increase demand, it’s a supply and demand issue" and said that Americans deserve to have everyone here to debate the issue.
Rep. Mike Pence (IN): said "Since the American people don’t get a vacation from high gas prices – Congress shouldn’t get a five week vacation." He reemphasized that action now will make a difference in the shortcome – even though new domestic oil comes online in a few years, taking action sends a strong message to the market.
Pence then went on to quote Daniel Webster who’s words are carved in the wall above the Speaker’s chair:
“Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also in our day and generation may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”
Rep. Tom Price (TX): "Energy independence is the calling of our time."
Rep. Mike Turner (OH): Told the crowd that in 2004, Rep. Pelosi appealed to then Speaker Hastert to call a special session to deal with the 9/11 Commission Report and the House was called back during recess because it was considered a matter of national security and the pertinent committees held hearings. This is a matter of economic security, of energy security. Turner also mentioned that Dayton, OH was considering not providing busing for high schoolers due to high gas prices.
Rep. Steve King (IA): Said, "We need more energy of all kinds, less energy means shutting down this economy" and "This is a problem we can’t get out of without drilling."
Rep. Rob Wittman: Made an analogy to Apollo 13 saying when Houston got to work trying to filter the CO2, they looked at everything that would work/help, they didn’t limit their options when faced with an emergency.
Rep. Peter Roskam (IL): referenced the Stamp Act – how it touched every part of the colonial economy and sparked a revolution, much like the current energy crisis. He went on to say that he had driven through the night with his entire family to be there – because this was an important issue he had to speak on. Everyone clapped for them.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX): read some heart-wrenching constituent mail. A family can’t afford to visit their grandparents, others had to make tough choices everyday and forgo family vacations to afford Boy Scout camp for their son, an Eagle Scout. Hensarling quoted Pelosi this weekend who said Republicans need to "use their imagination" but said, "We dream about a great tomorrow, but we have to live here, today."
Rep. Blackburn (TN): pointed out all the other things this Congress has taken the time to address – monkey bites, national train day – as prices climbed higher and higher.
Rep. Tim Walberg (MI): confided that he had a primary election tomorrow, but felt there was nothing more important for him to be doing but to be here, on the floor, fighting for his constituents. He closed saying, "Speaker Pelosi, let us have a vote."
Speeches continued, but included in the many, many things you are not allowed to have with you on the floor is lunch.