August 1st, 2008
03:35 PM ET
6 years ago

Congress shuts down for the month, GOP refuses to leave

Some House Republicans refused to leave once the congressional recess for August began on Friday afternoon.
Some House Republicans refused to leave once the congressional recess for August began on Friday afternoon.


WASHINGTON (CNN) –
The microphones were off and the lights were dim, but more than a dozen House Republicans refused to go home Friday after the body adjourned for August recess.

The protesting conservatives gave impromptu speeches and nearly filled the seats of their powerful chamber with staffers, Boy Scouts and tourists, in an attempt to pressure Democrats to hold a vote on offshore drilling and other energy ideas. Republicans claim some 45 Congressmen took part.

Reporters scrambled to cover the extraordinary event, with no cameras permitted in the chamber. All sound systems had been turned off as soon as the House went into recess. But the noise was easy to hear from outside the chamber. The crowd on the floor chanted, "Vote! Vote! Vote!" after Congressmen Tom Price (R-Georgia) called for more action on energy and urged people to tell ten others to join the cause.

Listen: House Republicans and their guests chant "vote" in a dark House chamber.

Listen: Republicans and tourists applaud speeches in a shut-down House chamber.


Rep Kevin Brady, R-TX, said he was on a plane headed to Texas when he heard his GOP colleagues were still on the floor and he headed back to the Capitol. “The word went out that the people’s house is finally the people’s house again," he said.

Unsuspecting tourists were drafted to fill in seats. "I was surprised," said Becky Evans, a visitor from Michigan. "We were here for a tour and we were asked to come in and take a seat in the House."

Evans, a self-described Republican, supported the effort. "The fact that Democrats left before getting their work done is highly disappointing," she said.

A strange partisan divide evolved in the protest stump. Tourists who were signed up for tours with Republican congressmen and senators were frantically ushered in to fill seats on the chamber floor.

But tourists with passes from Democratic offices watched from above, in the balconies.

"I was not impressed at all," said Sue Miller from Memphis, Tennessee. "Democrats did not have a chance to defend themselves."

The chamber was half to two-thirds full during the speeches.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Rocky

    Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the Dems showed how much concern they have about this Countries energy problem.

    August 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. Hypocrites, ALL

    Once again, the Republicans take a page out of the Rove playbook and puff up their pork-bellies and strut about self-congratulating themselves for once again pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public and the MSM just buys in.

    This is a lie fostered on the media (thanks for playing into their agenda) and the gullible voting public.

    WAKE UP, America! The Republican “big oil” agenda is and has been an ongoing political game strategy by which the rich get richer and the poor can just go suck on fumes… It’s nothing more than a political ploy.

    Casey | Missouri – "blue state"

    August 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    I DID NOT GET TO COMMENT ON MCCAIN JOKING THAT SEN. OBAMA "WILL BE CALLED THE ONE"..........THIS IS DISGUSTING! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE GOP AND MCCAIN???????????????

    THE ONLY ONE..........IS JESUS CHRIST........MY LORD AND SAVIOR!

    AS A CHRISTIAN, I AM DISGUSTED WITH MCCAIN'S ATTEMPT AT DEMEANING HIS OPPONENT!

    MCCAIN HAS SANK TO A NEW LOW.

    August 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Sandy

    I wish I could afford to kick it for a month with pay. While we hard working people can't even get a pay increase, not one penny and the economy is kicking us in the behind. You better enjoy your time off so that when some of you come back you better fix the mess you put us in.

    August 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Angi's Mom

    Bipartisanship at its worse.

    August 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Rob - WA

    LMAO!!! Anyone who thinks that drilling for more oil is a "solution" to anything is a MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. A NATION OF WHINERS for OBAMA

    BIG OIL & BUSH & MCMORON WILL NOT LET

    GO UNTIL THEY ARE THROWN OUT OF OUR

    GOVERNMENT & OUT OF OUR POCKETS.

    THEY WANT THAT LAST DROP, FOLKS.

    AMERICAN & ARAB OILMEN OWN BUSH, MCBUSH & THE RNC.

    WE ARE ONLY THE FOLKS THEY PLAN TO ROB.

    August 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. Marc PDX

    The Republicans may as well go on home. The Democrats are determined to get nothing done in Congress for the rest of the Bush term. They're succeeding. Too bad we can't cut of their salaries while they're in permanent heeling-digging mode. After all, it's our money, not theirs that is getting wasted.

    August 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Dems 4 McCain

    Great idea. It's anti-democratic to deny our representatives the chance to govern.

    This is Pelosi saying her vote counts more than a majority of Congress.

    August 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. luggar

    Well at least some of the GOP are listening to the majority of Americans about drilling. NONE of the Dem. are. I can tell you where my vote is going and a lot of others too. The Tide is turning and the glow around Obama is fading. "You can fool some of the people some of the time. But you can`t fool all of the people all of the time."

    August 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. John

    Maybe Washington is safer than going back to their constituents....

    August 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. Mohammed

    its kind of odd how for almost 8 years nothing like this happens and all of a sudden when Bush is about to leave they want to take drastic measures to make sure his oil future is set. $10 dollers says chainy and bush go back to the oil buisness when their out..whose got money on this??

    August 1, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Troy

    Good for them!! Why would Congress leave for 5 weeks knowing that there is a huge energy issue and one that they should be addressing? There was bipartisan effort to put together a comprehensive bill and the Democrats would not even consider staying around? What do they have to get back to? I guess since they managed to push this off 10 years ago, they figure 5 more weeks would not hurt, right?

    August 1, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. MICH

    Face it, Nancy is wrong not to allow the vote. Everything else aside, she is wrong, flat wrong, inexcusably wrong.

    Even if you agree with her ideas, you have to admit she is wrong not to allow this vote. For shame, democrats!!

    August 1, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. fred

    Great, they go on vacation without any energy bill voted on

    August 1, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. lil

    Thats right make bush richer.

    August 1, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Dani

    "Democrates did not have a chance to defend themselves." No, they choose to go home.

    August 1, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Proud

    Though potentially a stunt, I find it refreshing to see some of our well paid politicians actually not running for the gates to go home and actually wanting to get things solved in our Legislative branch of government. Too bad the rest of Congress didn't feel that way.

    August 1, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Unbelievable. Then again, nothing these clowns do can surprise me anymore.

    August 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. james messina

    When they show those pictures of a few men on an off-shore oil rig, why don’t they ever show huge crews in a photovoltaic plant and wind mill industry?
    Nuclear is a dangerous target for terrorists. We are still using Henry Ford’s invention, the “combustion engine?” We have the technology and the money right now to change, “the hydrogen fuel cell” and not just for California. Crude oil’s primary use is for gasoline we can make the changes for the fuel cells over night only if we take the money from the people who say we can’t. Drilling won’t help until 20-30 years and even then it will only add 5% less foreign imports. While solar, wind, geo, hydrogen and recycled bios could theoretically begin overnight. They that opposes say this is far away. I need a job. Does anyone else need a job? I have been engaged in many forms of alternative energy for 40 years that, I came to the conclusion that is extremely feasible to break ground in about three or four factories in at least two cities of every state in the United States that will produce all these industries.

    August 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. norml

    so the gop ,in congress ,do nothing for 7 1/2 years,but,5 months before the election,they want to 'appear' to be doing something?whatever!

    August 1, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. Someone

    I'd be yelling too if I just found out I couldn't get a big fat check from the oil companies.

    This is incredibly pathetic.

    August 1, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. kelly WI

    Typical democracks. What else would you expect of them? So much for the donkeys talk of being for the people. The only people they are for are them selves. Think of that when you pay for your gas and your home energy bill. Won't get any better when they add more tax to it.
    This new Moses ad is hilarious. It's so true and they are obamas words. lol. I heard Hillary say about the same thing months ago. lol
    I would rather vote for an Admirals son than a son of a polygamist and radical athiest. You want communism you're looking at it.
    McCain 08

    August 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Greedy Republicans Need Oil & YOUR MONEY!!!

    Greedy Republicans Need Oil & YOUR MONEY!!!

    Republicans are Greedy!!!!
    Republicans take money from Oil Lobbyists!!!
    Oil Corporations raise Gas Prices!!!
    Oil Corporations have highest profits ever!!!
    Republicans get their cash from the Oil Corporations!

    Americans go Bankrupt, and withought their Homes!!!!!!!
    Economy gets Worse!
    Environment is polluted!
    Glaciers Melt!
    Weather goes wacky!!!
    Trees Burn!!!
    Animals Go Extinct!!!

    But, as long as the Republicans are in office and getting their money.... that's all they care about!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. VB Lincoln Park, NJ

    Good Riddance repugnicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    August 1, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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