I just got back a short while ago from the press gallery at the House of Representatives where, as Ramesh mentioned, the Republicans are keeping up the fight on creating new domestic energy and lowering gas prices.
You can read more details about what happened here, but in a nutshell, Democrats voted on Wednesday to recess for five weeks (a motion that cleared by one vote, without a single Republican voting to recess) without taking any action on the energy issue. With Congress recessing after today, Republicans planned a maneuver to extend today’s session as long as possible to make a point about the Democrats inaction. Democrats caught wind of the plan and motioned to adjourn before being foiled by the Republicans.
So what did the Republicans do? Even as the House Democrats left town running scared, they stayed on the floor of the House. House Republicans are still railing against the House leadership and are orating like their lives depend on it, to anyone who will listen about the need for cheaper gas and energy. The C-SPAN cameras have been shut off (C-SPAN has no control over them), the Democratic leadership made the sergeant-at-arms kill the microphones, and they even at one point tried to turn off the lights.
It’s summer, so there are no shortage of tourists trying to get in to witness what promises to be a heck of a civics lesson. They’re lined up out the door, and being that the House is out of session, the G.O.P. has even opened up the floor seats to visitors. Every five minutes or so the throngs of citizens would erupt into loud applause and cheering at something that was being said. One source on the Hill I spoke with was calling this “The Guerilla Congress.”
The atmosphere is positively electric in the House. It’s a good thing for Democrats this isn’t on C-SPAN because they’d look awful. Still, I get the sense Republicans in Congress aren’t there to put on a show. They’ve seized on an issue they have conviction in and the American people agree with. They’re fed up with Pelosi and Reid’s incompetence and bad faith. For the first time in years, House Republicans look like they’re in it to win it. It’s too early to say if Congressional Republicans can carry this momentum forward, but this is the stuff turning points are made of.
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