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07 August 2008

Newt Gingrich Threatens To Shut Down The Government (Again)

Remember back when Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House and in a game of political one-upsmanship, shut down the federal government...

...Twice.

Well, the former Republican leader was in Washington yesterday where he rallied other Congressional Republicans with his calls for yet another government shutdown if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to block a vote on the Republican-backed energy plan.

He led Republicans into government shutdowns in the 1990s, and now, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich indicates his party is seriously considering another shutdown threat to force a vote on offshore oil drilling in September.

"Are [Democrats] really prepared to close the government in order to stop drilling?" Gingrich asked. "Because I think the country will find that to be a suicidal strategy."
[Source: CNN, "Gingrich: GOP ready to shut government down over drilling", August 6, 2008]

In the meantime, another Georgia Congressman --Tom Price-- posted an entry on The Hill's Congress blog explaining why he felt it necessary to launch a protest in a half-empty, dimly-lit House chamber.

Last Friday, as we stood ready to speak on behalf of the millions of Americans crippled by high gas prices, the microphones in the House of Representatives were cut off and members were denied an opportunity to speak to and for the American people. As the lights fell, House Republicans became energized around one shared understanding: the American people will not tolerate having their voices muzzled. So we began to speak. Instead of being shut out, we fought for American energy in the dark until the last tourists were shuffled out of the hallowed House chamber.

One week later, our voices are still going strong in the darkened chamber, and a gust of change has been carried from Washington out to the American heartland.

Source: The Hill Blog, "Recess Revolution (Rep. Tom Price)", August 7, 2008]

So for those keeping up, Tom Price is continuing his so-called "Recess Revolution" despite having voted against several bills designed to move the country towards energy independence. And Newt Gingrich has come back with threats of shutting down the government even though he shouldered a lot of the blame for the two government shutdowns in the 90s.

Political stunts and politics of the past...that's what the Republican Party has been reduced to.