Did you call the president like I told you? I know some of you did because you called the station and asked again for the number. Get a pen and paper because I’m going to give the number out again.
If you missed last week, I urged everyone to call the White House and urge the president to exercise his constitutional authority to call the Congress back to Washington from the August recess and put them to work on, among other things, debating and voting on legislation aimed at increasing domestic supplies of energy and thus giving all of us some relief from the crippling price we’re paying at the pump and elsewhere.
I said all of this last Friday during this very slot. What I did not know while we were on the air was that the subject of energy was in the process of coming to a head on the House floor at very nearly that same moment.
A significant number of Democrats have crossed the aisle and are joining Republicans in support of a piece of legislation called the “American Energy Act.” According to its proponents in Congress it’s a kind of an “all-of-the-above” bill aimed at increasing domestic oil drilling, increasing funding for research on alternative energies and providing common-sense initiatives regarding conservation.
Democrats are crossing the aisle to support the bill because they have ears and they want to keep their jobs. And with their ears they’re hearing loud and clear from their constituents that opposing drilling offshore and in ANWR and in the western shale was one thing when gas was $2.10 a gallon. It’s something entirely different as you approach four bucks.
So last Friday morning, the Republicans were gaining ground when Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sensing that she couldn’t afford to allow a full day of discussion on the American Energy Act to take place in front of the C-SPAN cameras, abruptly adjourned the House, killed the C-SPAN feed and turned off the lights in the House chamber.
Here’s how it sounded. Click here to listen.
With that, Congress went on vacation.
Except not entirely. A group of Republicans has either remained in Washington or returned to Washington and they’re on the House floor every day, speaking to tour groups in the gallery and whatever media is in the chamber on the subject of America’s energy needs. About 20 or 25 are on hand on any given day. About a hundred in total have taken part. One of those who is back in Washington is Louie Gohmert, our congressman from Tyler.
I spoke with Louie yesterday and he tells me that the House gallery has been full of ordinary citizens who are openly expressing their appreciation of the fact that someone in Washington is willing to suffer the suffocating heat and forego a vacation to stay there to fight for them, however symbolic the fight may be.
Hats of to Louie and his colleagues.
This piece is not about energy per se. It’s about arrogance.
If Nancy Pelosi truly believes that her approach to our energy problems is the right one, she should welcome an open debate and an up or down vote. Debating and voting is what we pay Congress to do.
Instead, Nancy Pelosi turns off the lights. This is the woman who, upon being elected Speaker of the House, promised the most open Congress in history and stated her belief that generally, all bills should come to the floor for fair and open debate and with an amendment process that offers the minority the chance to offer alternatives.
Congressmen are supposed to do two things. Debate and vote. The Speaker of the House, on one of the most pressing issues in a generation, is allowing neither.
The president needs to call her out by exercising his authority to re-convene the Congress. The number to call to urge him to do so is 202-456-1111.
In a country of 300 million, one person can be safely ignored. But when we all speak at once, even the most arrogant of politicians has no choice but to listen.