Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pelosi Takes Obstructionism to New Heig - Make that Lows!

This is excerpted from Chuck Muth's 'News 'N Views' e-newsletter. It's quite simply outrageous.

As I'm on the road traveling, I'm a bit behind in my reading and writing. But a "big deal" happened last Friday, as House Republicans staged a revolt against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who desperately wanted to adjourn the House and go on her summer vacation.

But Rep. John Shadegg - Honorary Chairman of the 2008 Conservative Leadership Conference - and Republicans refused to leave despite Pelosi turning off the lights and ordering the House Chamber cleared by security. Instead, Republicans demanded that Congress stay in session and deal with the nation's energy problems and challenges. That's pretty much what happened in a nutshell, but here's Rep. Shadegg's first-person account of the revolt which he sent to supporters last Friday afternoon...

To: Shadegg Friends
From: John Shadegg

History was made today. Congress just recessed for a month-long summer break, leaving any solutions to high gas and energy prices to wait until September. But, while Republicans were on the floor to try to talk about energy solutions, Nancy Pelosi adjourned the House and then ordered the C-SPAN cameras off, turned of the microphones and turned out the lights.

After the microphones went off, I was determined to get them back on and actually guessed right on the code to turn them back on. However, Pelosi ordered them off again.

Then, Pelosi order all reporters out of the Press Gallery, so I immediately went there to talk to the press, which enabled the press to stay there, since a Member of Congress was in the gallery.

My Republican colleagues and I stayed on the floor to continue the debate on why we need to have more domestic production and why we need to move forward with alternatives like solar, wind, and nuclear. In my speech on the floor of the House, I said that this was our Boston Tea Party. (My full comments are at the end of this email).

As we continued to talk on the House Floor, more and more of our Republican colleagues joined us and demonstrated our commitment to the American people in finding solutions to lower gas and energy prices.

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 feisty 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.

"I love this," Shadegg told reporters up in the press gallery afterward. "Congress can be so boring...This is a kick."

My comments on the House floor this afternoon are below.

Shadegg's Comments on House Floor

Ladies and gentleman, all of you who are here in the House Chamber today, listening to us speak without the TV cameras on, and without the microphones on, are watching history. How many of you remember the Boston Tea Party? This is the Boston Tea Party! How many of you remember the Orange Revolution when they tried to repress free speech behind the Iron Curtain? This is that revolution!

In this great nation, powerful leaders cannot repress the right of the Minority to speak out. And, that is what this is about. This is about the right of the Minority to be heard on this floor, of this House, today, in this debate on the single most important issue facing this nation and that is energy policy! It's affecting the lives and livelihoods of every single American.

Now, make no mistake about it. Those of us who are here speaking want more production of American-made energy. But we haven't said it's our way or the highway. We haven't said we only want more production of oil. We haven't said we only want oil produced from the outer continental shelf. We haven't said we only want more oil produced from the Intermountain West, or more oil from ANWR, or even oil shale. We have said we want all of the above! We want solar! We want nuclear! We want wind! We want America to have the power it needs to get the job done.

Why would they turn off the microphones? Why would they turn off the television cameras? Because, the truth is, a majority of Americans want more American-made, American-produced energy. They are tired of being blackmailed by our enemies like Hugo Chavez. They are tired of being dependent on foreign oil when they know we have American petroleum we can use to power our economy.

You are watching history. You are watching an effort by the Minority to express itself. And you will go home someday, those of you who are young, and remember the day that you stood here. Because in America, freedom of speech rules. I will make a prediction for you right here, right now. We will, in this nation, produce more American-made energy in the very near future, notwithstanding Nancy Pelosi!

It is important to understand, that on this floor, both majorities and minorities get to speak. Typically bills come to the floor, and the Minority can offer amendments. We wanted to offer amendments for the last four months, amendments to look at the issue of where we can get more American-made energy. An amendment perhaps to allow drilling on the outer continental shelf for the thousands of barrels, tens of thousands of barrels, hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that are off our coasts! We wanted to offer an amendment to allow us to drill on the outer continental shelf for the trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.

Now why do we want that? We want that for the average American because if we start producing our own oil and our own natural gas, prices would come down today and people would stop suffering! Please understand we didn't want to be here today. We wanted to debate these things in regular order. We wanted a chance to offer those amendments when the bills were offered.

We wanted the chance to offer one of those amendments just two days ago, when the Majority took up a bill they thought would affect energy prices. You know what the Majority did? They said "No, not a single amendment will be allowed." They bring the bills to the floor and the rule says no amendments. So no amendment could be offered. For three months, for three months, the Majority has suppressed the rights of the Minority to have a single vote on more American-made energy, and that's just dead wrong.

Let me end by thanking you for being here and for witnessing this moment in American history - this Boston Tea Party for America's energy. Today, we can overcome Speaker Pelosi with your help.

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