Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) wanted to fly 10 lawmakers down to the Gulf of Mexico to see the damage caused by BP’s gigantic oil spill first hand.
House Democrats said no.
To summarize: House Members have funds that they can tap into to go back and forth from their districts; Rep Scalise wanted to tap into that in the process of organizing a visit of about 10 lawmakers to Louisiana to assess conditions in the Gulf before voting on drilling restrictions; the Democratic leadership has authorized using the funds in such a manner in the past; and they're not doing it now, because they want to control access by filtering it via committee (and, oh, yes, the Democrats forgot to mention that last bit to the GOP ahead of time).
Now, if you're a normal person, you might think that being able to tour the Gulf before voting on it is hardly unreasonable... particularly if you've already made the mistake of taking the Speaker's own pet mouthpiece seriously. In reaction to the fairly obvious observation that the Democrats are hampering Republican efforts to directly assess Obamaspill:
“Every Member should see the result of eight years of failed Bush-Cheney energy policies that have done nothing to secure our energy future,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.
You get used to baldfaced, reflexive, and boneheaded mendacity if you live in the DC area for any length of time, but this. This is something special. There is negative semantic content in that statement: somewhere, it's making an angel cry.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.