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House energy vote: Calling the Dems’ bluff again

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 10, 2008 02:46 PM

From House GOP Leader John Boehner’s office:

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her Democratic colleagues have already outlined their latest “no energy” plan, House Republicans today will force Democrats to go on the record: Will Democrats allow a vote on an “all of the above” bill to help bring down prices at the pump or not? During this afternoon’s consideration of legislation related to a “wild and scenic river” study, the Republicans will move to force a debate and vote on the American Energy Act (H.R. 6566), the House GOP’s plan to reduce fuel costs by increasing production of American energy, using new drilling revenues to fund an innovative renewable energy trust fund, encouraging more efficiency and conservation, and promoting the use of more alternative fuels.

House Republicans are forced to make this move because Speaker Pelosi continues to block a vote on their comprehensive plan to lower gas prices through an “all of the above” strategy. Instead, in a cynical attempt to run out the clock until the next congressional recess without taking a real vote to bring down the price at the pump, the Speaker and her Democratic colleagues have trotted out their own “no energy” legislation that does practically “none of the above.” For example, the bill locks up 80 percent of oil and gas in the Outer Continental Shelf and rejects the GOP plan to use hundreds of billions of dollars in new oil and gas revenue from being invested in development of renewable fuels.

As a matter of fact, the Democrats’ bill is so bad, Rep. Jason Altmire – a freshman Democrat from Pennsylvania – admitted to Politico that most Democrats don’t even support it, though he predicts most will hold their noses and support it once the Speaker lays down the law:

“‘We’ve succeeded in putting a bill together with something for everyone to dislike,’ Altmire joked as he emerged from the meeting.”

“Still, Altmire said he would support the bill because he feels strongly that Congress must approve some legislation this year.”

“‘Like everybody, I’m not happy with everything that’s in or not in,’ he said. ‘But I think, all told, it’s going to have enough votes to pass.’”

The fact is, a bipartisan majority in Congress and a solid majority of the American people back the House GOP’s “all of the above” strategy to help lower gas prices and bring down home heating costs during the winter. But Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues in the Democratic leadership are standing in the way of a simple, up-or-down vote on the plan – defying the will of the American people all the while.

Will rank-and-file Democrats buck the Speaker, listen to their constituents, and allow a debate and vote by supporting the Republican motion later today? Or will they fall in line behind her, as families, seniors, and small businesses back home struggle to make ends meet amid today’s high fuel costs?

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