Nancy Goes to Recess

, Rachel Paulk, Leave a comment

Republican members met in the U.S. House of Representatives this week to protest House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to call a vote on the American Energy Act—a bill with a bipartisan focus on both increasing the oil supply with additional drilling and increasing American alternative energy capabilities.

Rasmussen Reports stated that in a recent poll for the month of June, “Over half the nation’s voters (52%) now say Congress is doing a poor job, while just 11% give the legislature good or excellent ratings.” Also of note was the fact that “Before this month, the percentage ranking Congressional performance as poor had never exceeded 50%.”

The poor rankings stemmed from the growing opinion that Congress is disinterested in legislation improving the average citizens’ daily life and more focused on bills that bolsters its own political support. In light of this report is Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to call for a vote on bills designed to alleviate gas prices for the average citizen.

Over 100 bills have been introduced in 2008 alone by both Democratic and Republican Representatives addressing the energy issue—the trends in the bills show the Democrats focusing on alternative energy sources and the Republicans focusing on drilling for more oil. However, Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) stated that Speaker Pelosi has “never scheduled a vote on an energy bill that includes more domestic drilling.” Instead, Speaker Pelosi’s priorities lie elsewhere.

So what has her “do-nothing” Congress done?

To date, the House has put into law the names of about 80 post offices across the country. Thanks to Speaker Pelosi, America now has:

• The Rocky Marciano Post Office Building in Brockton, Massachusetts;
• The Congresswoman Jo Ann S. Davis Post Office in Gloucester, Virginia;

• The Alonzo Woodruff Post Office Building in Ionia, Michigan;
• and the list goes on.

The House has also named about 15 other federal buildings and veteran’s centers, including:

• The Euripides Rubio Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Ponce, Puerto Rico;
• The Richard B. Anderson Federal Building’ in Port Angeles, Washington; and
• The Conrad B. Duberstein United States Bankruptcy Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

Admittedly, Speaker Pelosi has allowed more than just bills naming buildings to be brought up for a vote in the House.

• H.R. 3218 named part of Interstate Route 395 as Cal Ripken Way.
• H.R. 5778 was passed to “preserve the independence of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.”
• The African Elephant Conservation Act and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 were reauthorized in H.R. 50; the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997 was also reauthorized in H.R. 465.
• H.R. 2356 was passed to encourage the use of the American flag on Father’s Day.
• The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) was allowed to increase its Board of Directors in H.R. 3891.
• H.R. 5478 safeguards the survival of $1 coins in 2008, allowing their “continued minting and issuance.”

Speaker Pelosi’s priorities are reflected by the bills she’s allowed to come up for vote in the House. Perhaps Congress will be held in higher esteem when Speaker Pelosi’s agenda includes bills on issues the average citizen is concerned with.

Rachel Paulk is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.