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August 01, 2008

A Little Political Theater On The Floor Of The House Of Representatives (UPDATED)

The House adjourned for its August vacation but a handful of Republicans decided to keep talking about their energy plans and what the Democrats won't do. That's when things got amusing.

They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m. and are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.

At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz..) was speaking, the lights went back on, and the microphones have been turned on as well.

But C-SPAN, which has no control over the cameras in the chamber, has stopped broadcasting the House floor, meaning no one is witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has now left.

Only about a half-dozen Republicans were on the floor when this began, but the crowd has grown to about 20 now, according to Patrick O'Connor.

"You're not covering this, are you?" complaing one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans "morons" for staying on the floor.

Republicans were trying to find bullhorns so their 'debate' can be heard.

It's good to see the Republicans acting a little feisty (even if its a little goofy as well). I think it's the kind of thing Newt would have done leading up to '94. Now, if you don't marry this with some good policy and strategy like they did with the Contract for America, you'll beclown yourself pretty quickly. Still, it's good to see Republicans getting their moxy back.

UPDATE: CSPAN isn't airing this because they don't control the cameras in the House, the majority does and Nancy shut that down with the official adjournment. But a tech savy Congressman, John Culberson (TX) has some video up and a Twitter feed going.

Redstate is following it as well and they say the Republicans are getting set for a long run, they've ordered in pizza.

Thanks to Topsecretk9 and MommaAJ for the tips in the comments.

Another Update [Gabe]: It sounds like it's turning into a real circus.

Update 4 - The scene on the floor is kind of crazy. Normally, members are not allowed to speak directly to the visitor galleries, or visitors are prohibited from cheering. But in this case, the members are walking up and down on the floor during their speeches, standing on cheers, the visitors are cheering loudly. Some members even brought in visitors, who are now sitting on the House floor in the seats normally filled by lawmakers, cheering and clapping. Very funny.

Democrats faced a choice here - should they leave the cameras on and let Republicans rip Pelosi & Co. on C-Span, or should they leave the cameras off and let the Republicans have their "tantrum," as one Democratic aide characterized it, with the cameras off. So the cameras are off, but Republicans, and the crowd, are clearly enjoying the scene. [...]

Update 6 - Rep Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) just pretended to be a Democrat. He stood on the other side of the chaber and listed all of the GOP bills that the Dems killed.

He then said "I am a Democrat and here is my energy plan" and he held up a picture of an old VW Bug with a sail attached to it. He paraded around he house floor with the sign while the crowd cheered.

I hope they manage to get more video out.


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posted by DrewM. at 01:59 PM

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