Talking to Some Members

Posted: Aug 04, 2008 11:06 AM
I'm staked out here just off the House floor, talking to members as they come by, they all are absolutely brimming with excitement over this. I can hear huge outbreaks of cheers and clapping every so often from the House floor.

In my chats with the members many of them are mentioning Speaker Pelosi's Sunday interview on ABC's This Week. I didn't see it, but apparently George Stephanolpous kept asking her repeatedly why should won't allow a vote and she kept dodging the question. Key Pelosi quote from the ABC interview: “They have to use their imagination as to how they can get a vote and they may get a vote,” she said.  A few are laughing about the tire gauge the RNC sent out to make fun of Obama's latest energy plan.

Here are some notes:

Rep. Gresham  Barret (R.-S.C.): Says this debate is not just about energy, it's about the ability to talk to the American people. "We forget how powerful it is, until someone says you can't do that anymore. It strikes a chord," he told me. He likes the fervor behind energy right now to that of the immigration debate in 2005. "The American people shut that bill down," he said. I asked if "Well if the American people shut that down, can't they turn this one on?"  "Doggone straight," he replied.

Rep. Ron Lewis (R.-Ky.): Originally came to Congress in 1994, is retiring this year. Cancelled his farewell tour events to come back to the Hill. Sees increasing energy exploration as a jobs issue. "We could create millions of jobs," he tells me. "Millions, think of the pipelines, the refineries, the construction...meanwhile we've got all the Teamsters who can't drive because they can't afford the diesel."

Rep. Tom Cole (R.-Okla.): Chairman of the NRCC, charged with raising money for all House GOP races. Has gotten lots of flack in the press for telling the members they are essentially out for themselves in 2008. He doesn't feel that way today. If Pelosi doesn't come back for a vote the Democrats "are going to have 4 bad political weeks," he says.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.): Is here fighting gas prices even though her primary race is this week and her niece had a baby over the weekend. Cites gas prices from all the different cities in her district. She's in tune for sure. The Republican Study Committee sent the President a letter Friday asking him to call Congress into a special session to hold a vote on energy. "All he would have to do is issue a call," she said. 'I believe the Truman call is the precedent."

Rep. Pete Rossom: Just followed him outside where he was handing out flyers to tourists of the letter he sent to Speaker Pelosi asking her to reopen the House. He cancelled his family vacation to be here, drove back to DC with his wife and kids at 3am. "Just like the Griswalds!" he said. That's dedication. Here's a pic that Rob Bluey, of the Heritage Foundation, snapped.