I had the opportunity to get back to the House Floor today. Saw several bloggers in the cloak room. Seemed like there were a lot more people coming in and out today. Highlights:
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Florida):
- Democrats are being held back, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) will not allow them to come back to the House floor to speak and they are afraid of retribution. It will take
- Alaskans want drilling, why can't they decide when Florida was allowed to?
- This session is unusual - "usually standing in an empty chamber" giving speeches but now "can look out in to the chamber and see the faces of America."
- "Democrats and Republicans to make sure America can sustain itself"
Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana):
- We shouldn't be supporting Venezuela which funds enemies of democracy with our money (25% of our oil is from Venezuela.) Shouldn't have to be afraid of Saudis, Russia-Georgia, Iran-Israel wars.
- It’s not “why don’t ‘they’ do something about it,” 'they' is us - you and me. YOU do something about it: call 202-225-4131 and tell Democrats to come back to the House to vote on energy.
- Pelosi is the “only person who’s stopping us from any movement on energy independence.” Thinks there are at least 50 Democrats willing to vote to approve drilling.
- We "said 30 years ago we'd be independent, how will things we in the future" if we still aren't? “We need to do the right things today to protect the future of America.”
- Will fight continuing resolution to stop ban.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) was the MC, introducing each speaker:
- Noted that it has been one full week of “unprecedented” action on the House Floor.
- Says the reason Republicans are doing this is because "Congress shouldn’t take a five week paid vacation when Americans can’t take a vacation from gas prices."
- It is a "priviledge" to see American people on the House floor.
- Believes if Congress came back a bipartisan majority would vote for energy and opening up drilling.
- On Russia-Georgia news: "American people need a strategy so we're not dependent on most volatile part of world."
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia):
- "Never been more concerned about the future of this country ... things are not going well and energy is a large portion of what is wrong." $9 trillion debt, $53 trillion in unbunded obligations.
- China, with its legacy of human rights abuses - Tibet, arresting Christians, funding and arming Darfur janjaweed, spying and hacking American computers - may be able to drill offshore Cuba, but we are not.
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania):
- Told stories of his constituents’ troubles with cost of energy. Old woman in grocery store - price of food and gas has gone up and she's "scared to death about her home heating bill." Dairy farmer - "cost of fuel, fertilizer, everything up 30, 40% and it's crushing him." Painter - made 2 estimates on one project: Last year was $10,000, this year $15,000 and the person couldn't afford it.
- Pelosi said Republicans would have to use their imaginations to get a vote. He never imagined the "most productive and ethical Congress" that Pelosi declared would shut down Congress, have closed rules, shut out voices. Of 300 bills passed, 105 were naming buildings or post offices. He "would like to imagine that Congress will come back" next week and lift the moratorium
- “When the world sees America is serious about energy, the markets will respond and we will decrease dependence on foreign oil.”
- Americans have the "right to call their representatives and demand they get back to Washington to work and they have the right to vote against those who don’t respond to the will of the American people" in November.
- Showed The NO Zone map of where it is illegal for America to drill (see above)
Rep. John Porter (R-Nevada):
- Speaker Pelosi’s private jet costs $50,000 to fly from San Fransisco to DC and burns 11,000 gallons of jet fuel. The rest of us are suffering from higher cost of living and lower quality of life.
- We said in the 70's we wouldn't be held hostage by OPEC and our enemies, but we've gone from importing 30% of our oil to 70%.
- On teletown hall, a woman who lived through WWII said back then "we rolled up our sleeves and survived... didn't just talk, did something." "We must announce drilling now to show the world we mean business....By hook or by crood we can get it done.... Wake up, America. We can win this war like we won WWII.... Do it all and do it now." (all of this from constituent)