With Only Nine Days Until the August Recess, Speaker Pelosi, Dem Leaders Continue to Block Bipartisan Action to Increase American Energy, Lower Gas Prices
House Republicans are transforming their “all of the above” strategy into a single piece of legislation – the American Energy Act, which will be introduced this afternoon during a rally on the West Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol. This means more pressure than ever is on the Speaker to bring the bill to the floor so Americans can finally begin to see some relief at the pump. How much longer will she and her colleagues in the Democratic leadership continue to “run down the clock” and ignore the interests of American families and small businesses?
Washington, Jul 23 - With the five-week August recess just nine days away, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her colleagues in the Democratic leadership are doing everything they can to keep Members from having to vote on more American energy production to help lower gas prices. Their months-long campaign of inaction in the face of soaring gas prices not only pits Democratic leaders against the American people – who support more production as part of any comprehensive energy plan – but it also pits them against an increasing number of rank-and-file Members of their own party. This morning’s Politico details the Democrats’ strategy of “running down the clock” until August recess rather than allow a simple up-or-down vote on more American energy production – a vote that would pass by a strong, bipartisan margin:
“Democratic leaders, caught off guard by a swing in public opinion and undermined by some of their own members, are scrambling to run down the clock on calls to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling…”
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opposes lifting the offshore ban, a position that puts her at odds with Democrats ranging from liberal Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii to oil-patch Rep. Gene Green of Texas, both of whom have conferred with Republicans to craft a compromise plan that would increase domestic energy production.”
How serious are Democratic leaders about “running down the clock” until the August recess? So serious that, according to the Associated Press, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., won’t let the House or any of its committees or subcommittees allow a vote on offshore drilling.”
That’s right: not a single vote anywhere in the House – in subcommittee, a full committee, or the House floor – on deep ocean energy production. Or more exploration on Alaska’s remote North Slope. Or on federal lands in the Intermountain West. Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and the rest of the Democratic leadership have simply cut off any and all debate in the House on real energy reforms by patently refusing to allow a vote on more American energy. And these same leaders claim to be running “The People’s House?” The same leaders who promised the most fair, open, and honest Congress in history? Hardly.
The fact is, more energy production here at home is exactly what American families and small businesses are looking for as they deal with record gas prices. In fact, according to a column in today’s Wall Street Journal, more and more Democratic voters are demanding more production of American energy as well:
“[P]olls these days are shifting overwhelmingly in favor of it. More than two-thirds of Americans support expanding drilling along the coasts, and 59% approve of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, according to a Reuters-Zogby poll. The worst news for Democrats is that support for drilling is now a majority opinion even in their own constituency.”
So, let’s get this straight, by “running down the clock” until the August recess, Speaker Pelosi and her leadership colleagues are defying the will of:
- A solid majority of the American people;
- A bipartisan majority in Congress, including an increasing number of rank-and-file Democrats;
- More and more self-described Democrats across the country; and
- In the case of Alaska’s North Slope, natives of Kaktovik, a small town in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s “10-02 Area,” which was designated for energy exploration nearly 30 years ago by President Carter and Congress.
As gas prices continue to top $4 per gallon, is this the kind of representation the American people expect from their leaders in Washington? Don’t Speaker Pelosi and her leadership colleagues owe American consumers – not to mention rank-and-file Members of their own party – a straight up-or-down vote on the House Republicans’ “all of the above” energy plan to lower gas prices?