Bedlam erupts in Congress over oil refinery vote; 'Shame, shame'
A controversial bill that offered abandoned U.S. military bases to private industry for the construction of oil refineries and granted federal insurance to refiners ensnared in litigation passed by a razor-thin margin in the House Friday afternoon 212-210 as Democrats chanted "shame, shame, shame."
The vote, which was supposed to take five minutes, lasted 45. About a dozen Republicans reversed their votes as the Republican leadership circled the chamber pressuring members of their party to ensure the bill's passage.
When over two dozen Republicans initially voted no, DeLay, Barton, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and new Majority Leader Roy Blunt circled the chamber to cajole holdouts.
Eventually, enough Republicans switched to pass the bill.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also complained, saying the proceedings brought "dishonor to the House."
Democrats in the chamber chanted "shame, shame, shame" as the final tally was announced.
Originally posted by RANT
Long after all the votes were in and this travesty of a bill defeated, they kept the floor open and went looking for Republicans to strong arm into changing their vote. They eventually forced two to flip.
Originally posted by soficrow
And this surprises you?
Pelosi: ‘What You Saw on the House Floor This Afternoon Was a Shameless Display of the Republican Culture of Corruption’
Washington, D.C.– House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer at a news conference this afternoon to condemn the Republican abuse of power that occurred on the floor of the House today. The Republican leadership held a five-minute vote on the energy bill open for 45 minutes to twist arms to get their Members to switch votes. Below are Pelosi’s remarks:
“What you saw on the House floor this afternoon was a shameless display of the Republican culture of corruption, as it exists in the House of Representatives. It demonstrated once again that the Republican majority will go to any length to satisfy the greed of the energy companies over meeting the needs of the American people.
“A vote that was supposed to take five minutes took more than nine times that long because the indicted Republican leader of the House of Representatives needed extra time to twist the arms necessary to pass a bill that is against the interests of the American people, against consumers, against taxpayers, and against the environment.
“The fact that the Republicans are handmaidens of the special interests is nothing new. The fact that they would shamelessly display their servitude should come as no surprise. But today’s extortion is an especially shameful display – a sad day for democracy. The people spoke and the vote was clearly against this bill.
“How long will the Republican caucus condone this behavior? Until the rank-and-file Members break with the culture of corruption, they are all complicit and they all enable. The American people must object.
“Our country’s democracy is based upon every American having his or her voice heard on the floor of Congress. Republicans have shut down debate here. Now they are shutting down the reasonable outcome of a vote.
“Democrats have proposed guidelines for how we think the House of Representatives should operate, a Minority Bill of Rights. Included in this document is the declaration that ‘No vote shall be held open in order to manipulate the outcome.’ When we take back the People’s House, we will heed that declaration.”