As we are no doubt all aware of, the House Republicans have declared a revolt. Roughly 25 Republican representatives stayed on the floor making speeches after Speaker Nancy Pelosi adjourned the House for its August weekend, with others, including NJ-5 Congressman Scott Garrett, grandstanding at press conferences this week. Republican Leader John Boehner announced this “historic event” on his website, saying that it is a call for Pelosi to reconvene the House for an emergency vote on the energy crisis.
Earlier actions by House Republicans make this “call for action” ironic. The same week that Exxon Mobil broke its own record for highest quarterly profit, the House of Representatives failed to pass a bill aimed at curbing excessive speculation in the energy markets, closing the Enron loophole, and strengthening the enforcement of laws against price manipulation and fraud. The vast majority of representatives opposing the bill, H.R. 6604, were Republicans (135), including 19 of the original protesters, and Scott Garrett, who also counts Exxon-Mobil among his generous special interest contributors.
When given the chance to pass a bill that could have reduced gas prices, Scott Garrett and the House Republicans turned it down.
Even worse are the actions of Boehner himself. Although his website lists him as one of the representatives “participating in the spontaneous uprising”, the Washington Post explains that Boehner has been home in Ohio “tending to his golf game and fundraising.” According to the Post, at some point this past week, Boehner reported his golf score to the US Golf Association website: an 85. The DCCC, responding to this news, pointed out that Boehner’s green fees, about $240, would have bought over 62 gallons of gas, with prices at an average of $3.85/gallon.
Yes, more should be done on the energy problems being faced by thousands of Americans. But how is making speeches in a dark House going to help, especially while your leader is out golfing? The Republicans’ time would be better spent doing research on energy solutions that will actually make a difference to the average driver, who probably can’t afford to pay $240 for a round of golf.