Open letter to Pelosi: Republicans just want a chance to vote; Boehner's Live Blog

The House Republican leadership has just delivered an open letter to Nancy Pelosi this morning, requesting that she call Congress back into session to … well, to do their jobs. Calling a recess “unconscionable” while high fuel prices rock the economy and harm Americans, especially the working class, the GOP says all they want is an honest debate and an open vote:

An Open Letter to Speaker Pelosi

On Friday August 1, 2008, at 11:23 a.m., your Democrat majority in the House of Representatives adjourned the House for five full weeks.

House Republicans believe that Congress should not go on vacation until we take action to lower gas and energy prices for struggling American families.

For the last two months we and our House Republican colleagues have used every tool at our disposal to try and get you and your Democrat majority to vote on legislation to lower gas and energy prices by expanding environmentally sound domestic production of oil and natural gas, improving energy efficiency, and encouraging the development of alternative energy technologies.

Many of the proposals we have asked you and your Democrat majority to allow us to vote on are bipartisan proposals that we believe would enjoy the support of a majority of the Members of the Congress. Yet because you and your Democrat Leadership personally oppose these proposals, you are not allowing them to come up for a vote.  This past Sunday, you even told George Stephanopoulos that you will never allow this vote to occur ….

In protest of you and your Democrat majority not allowing an up or down vote on producing more American energy, we and our House Republican colleagues were prepared to take to the floor on Friday, August 1, 2008, and speak to the nation. Rather than allowing that to happen you and your Democrat majority adjourned the House, turned off the television cameras, shut off the microphones and turned out the lights. Nearly 50 House Republicans remained on the floor of the House in defiance speaking to those citizens gathered in the galleries and to the media.

Today we have again returned to the Capitol to continue speaking to the thousands of Americans from all across our country who are visiting the Capitol. We would have preferred if instead we were joined by our colleagues to have a true debate on this issue that ended in an up or down vote.

We think it is unconscionable that Congress has gone on vacation before we have addressed the high gas prices that are crippling our economy and hurting millions of families.  We are asking that you reconvene the House from your five-week vacation and schedule a vote on legislation to increase American energy production. Let us be clear, we are not asking for a guaranteed outcome, just the chance to vote.

Signed by: John Boehner, Republican Leader; Roy Blunt, Republican Whip; Adam Putnam, Republican Conference Chairman; Eric Cantor, Chief Deputy Whip; and Members of the House Republican Conference

It looks like Republicans have committed themselves to the long game on energy policy.


John Boehner’s office has started a live blog to keep up with the events today. Keep checking back during the day.  Here are a couple of nuggets from today’s debate:

“Without your help we won’t be able to do anything…like the founders of this country we’re going directly to the American people.” – Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)

The oil might not flow for a year or two, but the jobs will start immediately…Right now, this House is an obstacle, not a platform.” – Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)

The jobs would begin immediately, and long-term planning based on surplus rather than shortage could also begin.