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06 August 2008

Republicans Use Gingrich To Distract From Their Votes Against Energy Legislation

A Republican relic of the past was rolled out by the House GOP today as they sought to up the ante in their protest against what they call the Democratic leadership's unwillingness to hold a vote on an energy plan that includes the authorization of offshore drilling for oil and gas.

Meanwhile, research into the voting records of the three Georgia Republicans leading what Democrats continue to deride as a "political stunt" show that Gingrey, Price and Westmoreland voted against about half a dozen bills designed to invest more into renewable energy sources, reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and ease the pain Americans are feeling at the gas pump.

The House Republican leadership announced that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R - Georgia) would serve as a "guest star protester" in the darkened U.S. House Chamber.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is set to join Republican lawmakers Wednesday as they continue their occupation of the recessed House of Representatives chamber to demand a vote on offshore drilling for oil and gas. The former speaker from Georgia already has been leading an online petition drive favoring immediate opening of all "proven energy reserves" to exploration. [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Gingrich to guest star at pro-oil drilling protest", August 6, 2008]

The Republicans' protest against the Democrat-controlled Congress began last Friday when the House adjourned for a five-week recess. After the House adjourned, U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R - Georgia) and several of his Congressional Republican colleagues --including fellow Georgians Phil Gingrey and Tom Price-- remained on the House floor and demanded that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R - California) call Congress back into session to hold a vote on the Republican energy plan, even as the lights were turned out and the cameras turned off.

Meanwhile, research into the voting records of the three Georgia Republicans leading what Democrats continue to deride as a "political stunt" show that Gingrey, Price and Westmoreland voted against about half a dozen bills designed to invest more into renewable energy sources, reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and ease the pain Americans are feeling at the gas pump.

Despite their demands for a vote on the Republican energy plan, Gingrey, Price and Westmoreland all cast "No" votes against the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act (HR 6049); the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act (HR 5351); the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act of 2008 (HR 6074); the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (HR 6), which was signed into law by President Bush; the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act (HR 1252); and the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels "NOPEC" Act (HR 2264) [Source: House Roll Call #344; #84; #332; #1177; #404; #398].

With their repeated votes against energy legislation, one has to ask if the Georgia Republicans leading the protest in Washington are truely genuine in their demands for a vote on a "comprehensive energy bill" that puts Georgia and the rest of the nation on the path towards energy independence.