In a show of anger and determination against the lackadaisical Democrats for not helping to resolve the gas price crisis, the Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to leave the debate, even after the Democrats fled:
Hat Tip To Michelle Malkin.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House and turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.
Minority Leader John 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 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 is witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis 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 now, according to Patrick O’Connor.
“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “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?” complaining 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 camera’s have been turned off, House Republicans are on the Floor speaking to the tax payers 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.
Update 4 – Republican leaders just sent out a notice looking for a bullhorn and leadership aides are trying to corral all the members who are still in town to come speak on the floor and sustain this one-sided debate.
Also, Republicans can thank Shadegg for turning on the microphones the first time. Apparently, the fiesty Arizona conservative started typing random codes into the chamber’s public address system and accidentally typed the correct code, allowing Republicans brief access to the microphone before it was turned off again.
Check this link for updates:
From Michelle Malkin:
From the Republican Study Committee, a call for President Bush to convene a special session on gas prices.
Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC), and Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), former Chairman of RSC, today urged President Bush to call for a special session of Congress after the House adjourned without allowing a vote on comprehensive legislation to develop more American energy and help the millions of Americans currently feeling pain at the gas pump.
The text of their letter is below:
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
The House of Representatives has not taken a vote since January 2007 that would expand domestic energy production. All the while, Americans are hurting. Every time they go to fill up their cars, trucks or tractors they feel the pain at the pump. High gas prices are harming the vitality of our families, the elderly, small businesses, and family farms. Each and every American is affected.
Today the Democrat controlled Congress adjourned for a five-week vacation without taking a vote on bipartisan measures that would lessen our dependence on foreign oil by allowing more domestic drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. In fact, they adjourned without even allowing time for debate on the subject of drilling.
On July 14, 2008, you took the strong action of lifting the executive order that had banned offshore drilling. In so doing, you said that allowing offshore oil drilling is “one of the most important steps we can take” to reduce the burden of high gas prices. Now, all it would take is an act of Congress for that drilling to begin.
Since Speaker Pelosi has decided not to keep the House in session to allow this vote to take place, we urge you to use the power vested in you by the Constitution to convene an immediate energy special session of Congress. Under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, you have the power ‘on extraordinary occasions’ to convene the Congress.
We believe that the energy emergency that has increased the pain felt by Americans when they purchase $4 per gallon gasoline is an extraordinary occasion. We urge you to immediately bring the Congress back into session to do its job and give the bipartisan, pro-drilling majority a vote.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Looks like people are filling up the gallery, even as Nancy (aka “Blinky”) Pelosi threatens to close the revolt.
The Democrats and their propaganda wing (aka the MSM) will criticize this as a ‘stunt’ without chastising the Dems for their do-nothing behavior. Every proposal put before the Democrat-controlled Senate and House, that will help to put an end to our dependence on the OPEC bastards by drilling our own resources, has been met with refusal.
I hope hundreds of Americans show up in the chamber to witness the Republicans dedication to their constituents and the lack of integrity on the part of the Democratic party.
Well, the revolt has come to an end:
Hat tip: Politico
Right at the stroke of 5, Georgia Rep. Tom Price announced that House Republicans were stopping their impromptu protest on the floor of the chamber, ending a five-plus-hour mock rebellion with a round of “God Bless America.”
The assembled tourists, aides and members in the chamber gave Price and his compatriots a standing ovation. They left the chamber to shouts of “USA! USA! USA!”
One of the Republicans held up this sign, while the crowd cheered:
Though the Republicans made their point, it’s too bad they didn’t plan on doing this for the entire 5 week ‘vacation’. That would be a great way to prove the Democrat’s priorities; leisure comes before the importance of doing their job. The Republicans showed some spine….for awhile, anyway.