Saturday, October 8

Arm Twisting until they fall off

In a stunning repeat of the Medicare Prescription Benefit Vote Debacle (which took place at 4am and lasted for hours, until the Republicans could wrangle and coerce the votes needed for passage) it appear that the Reich-Wing is at it yet again...


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."

It's clear from events like these that the Republican Party simply can not be trusted to serve the interests of the people, they are a party that is bought and paid for by special interest monies. The number #1 focus of all Democrats should be to highlight events such as this and pound the Republicans over the head with them - use each and every shameful act on their part, the Schiavo Fiasco, Prescription Drug Bill, and now this vote, to drive them out of the controlling positions in Congress. No quarter asked, none given.


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