Roy Blunt Throws Down The Gauntlet; Says Democrats Must Allow Off Shore Drilling Or Repubs Will Shut Down Congress
What a complete and utter tool. On C-Span's Newsmakers show this weekend, Roy Blunt blames Nancy Pelosi for how little the 110th Congress has accomplished. Now I have my issues with Pelosi's priorities and leadership, but let's call a tool a tool. The reason that so little has been passed is that the Republicans have been playing these stupid partisan games (and Blunt, John Ashcroft's and Tom DeLay's personally groomed protege, knows exactly how to do it) and basically fighting every bit of legislation that comes along. Can you say obstructionism, Roy? (.pdf) I knew that you could.
And then to prove that the Republicans are serious about being as difficult as possible, Blunt admits that the Republicans have every intent to shut down Congress after the summer recess unless the Democrats allow for off-shore drilling rights. But it's the Democrats' fault. I can't believe how dishonest this guy is...and of course, since he's being interviewed by a Washington Times journalist, no actual facts will be proffered.
We've discussed the fallacy of the off-shore drilling doing anything to help our energy crisis...a perfect example of the Shock Doctrine being pushed upon us. Yes, our gas is expensive, relatively speaking, for us (but compared to Europe, still a bargain). No actual increase in supply would happen for at least 5-10 years, no guarantee that resource would go to offset Americans' costs (rather than going on the global market to the highest bidder) and the disaster waiting to happen of oil spills in sensitive ecological areas makes it a smart choice for the Democrats to take a stand. The only benefits go to oil companies and I'd say they're doing fine right now.
So it's up to the Democrats (hear me, Pelosi?) to get in front of this and make sure the American people know that Blunt & Co. want to shut down the government to put more money in the bank accounts of oil companies. That's all that needs to be said.
transcripts below the fold
Q: Has Nancy Pelosi been an effective Speaker?
BLUNT: Not if you...not by any standard legislatively. There's a lot to admire about Nancy Pelosi. She's incredibly tenacious, she takes a position and sticks with it. In my opinion, she usually sticks with the position that's wrong, and I think she's particularly doing that on energy. But I read in Time Magazine the other day, it may have been stories like that have been in both of your publications as well that this Congress has passed fewer laws than any in the last 30 years. We finally today passed one of...the appropriations bill this week. 1950 was the last time the Congress wouldn't pass an appropriations bill, but not a single one by the end of July. And we hadn't. And, you know, Time Magazine pointed out, 30 year low, of the 260 bills that went to the President's desk, which sounds like a lot if you're outside of Washington, but when you think about what was in them, you and I know it's a 30 year low, and 74 of those 30 bills, of those 260 bills, were naming post offices, a bunch of the bills were things like declaring National Watermelon Month, and one of my favorites was designating dirt as an important national resources, sort of spend a lot of time on the obvious. You'd have a hard time getting beyond two handfuls of legislation that this Congress has passed that really mattered. And the Speaker, more than anybody else, has to accept responsibility for that.
SEAN LENGELL (Washington Times): Beginning this week, Congress takes their five week annual summer break. But when you come back, some Republicans have suggested that the idea of possibly voting against a continuing budget resolution, that would fund the government for next year unless Democrats agree to lift a ban on offshore drilling. If they did this, it would essentially shut down the government. Is this something you would support, this tactic?
BLUNT: I certainly wouldn't see it that way. I would see that...you know, there are two bans in the appropriations process and you're watching this...some people know exactly what that means, others wonder well how do you...in the money spending protest...process, ban something. And essentially, so you can't spend a penny to lease any of the offshore drilling rights or any of the shale oil drilling rights in the west or off-shore drilling rights in the Atlantic or Pacific. And so that's a... that's a ban on those in the bill. That ban runs out September the 30th. It's not my fault we don't have an Interior Appropriations Bill that is already taking care of this problem. As far as I'm concerned, October 1, we should be able to begin the leasing process and drilling and mining in both of those areas, going American supply.
Now whether Democrats would rather shut down the whole government rather than let those two things happen, is really the question as opposed to whether Republicans would...you know that only lasts until September the 30th, and they haven't done anything to extend it. So I'm assuming it's done.
LENGELL: But would the public blame the Democrats or blame the Republicans for shutting down the government?
BLUNT: In this environment, where energy is the most important issue, and the only thing you're fighting over is whether you allow drilling, we'd have to see. I'd rather be on the side of that that wanted to go after American energy sources than the side that didn't.
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