FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Democrat Congress votes self a paid vacation instead of dealing with rising gas prices
Boy, all that doing nothing is tiring...let's take a break!
Republicans in Congress have been pressing the lower House’s Democrat leadership to consider realistic solutions to the energy crunch to no avail for weeks now.
50-mile-or-more offshore drilling? Off the table. Using a fraction of ANWR to provide America with years’ worth of fuel? Also off the table. Nuclear energy? Waaaay off the table. About the only thing Speaker Pelosi and her band of merry men have allowed even to grace the table’s presence is a “use it or lose it” legislative demand that oil companies drill on land they already own, which isn’t currently being drilled because it doesn’t have any oil under it. Now that‘s a good way to help folks like you and me pay less at the pump.
With Congress due to take a monthlong recess beginning this weekend, the House Republican leadership decided to make energy solutions — with an emphasis on the solutions — their first and only priority this week.
Further, putting their money (or, more correctly, their vacation time) where their mouths were, Republicans decided to do everything they could to keep the House in session past this week and into the August recess, until such a time as the energy situation had been, in some way, dealt with.
Needless to say, House Democrats, far more inclined to continue blaming the Bush administration for high gas prices while doing everything in their power to block legislation that would affect them in any meaningful way, weren’t in favor of the plan.
This afternoon, a roll-call vote was held to adjourn for the August recess. With nothing whatsoever having been done to actually help lessen the toll being taken on the American people by towering energy prices, the Republicans united to oppose this move by Democrats to reward themselves with a paid vacation (at taxpayer expense, of course) that would enable them to leave town while leaving their constituents in such a bind.
The motion to adjourn passed, 213-212, with 17 Democrats joining the House GOP in opposing Congress’ being rewarded for abdicating their responsibilities and refusing to do their jobs.
One vote was the difference between Congress staying late to actually do their jobs, and taking off for a month of paid vacation having done absolutely zero to deregulate the price of gas down from its current state.
One single vote.
With a margin of one, there are 223 Congresspersons who effectively cast the deciding vote to leave America in the lurch while they took a paid vacation.
Quoth Roll Call($):
House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) said Democrats who voted to adjourn “should be held in contempt for voting to skip town without dealing with America’s energy crisis.”
Instead, Putnam said, they should “put their boarding passes back in their pockets and get to work” by taking up the GOP energy package that includes, among other provisions, offshore and Arctic drilling in the mix of solutions to growing gas costs.
213 voted to leave; 10 — including four Republicans (one of whom was, I am sad to say, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO)) — took an even lower road by refusing to vote at all.
When you’re paying your $4 per gallon at the pump this November, just remember the 219 Democrats and 4 Republicans who either voted for that early paid vacation, or cast de facto votes for it by not voting at all, while the price of gas was nigh unaffordable thanks to their regulatory actions.