House Republicans Refuse To Go Home

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.’’

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.

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