WASHINGTON – A group of Republican lawmakers who have camped out at the Capitol while most others went home for summer break is getting some unwelcome company on Tuesday.
In the third day of a GOP "rump" session protesting Democrats for not holding a vote on oil drilling legislation, lawmakers will be getting a visit by MoveOn members, who are calling the GOP hypocritical in protesting Democrats.
"Since Friday, the Republicans in Congress have been playing to the television cameras with theatrical stunts because Speaker Pelosi blocked their offshore drilling plan. The Republican plan will not lower gas prices but it will line the pockets of Big Oil executives, the same people donating millions of dollars to Republicans," reads a press release by the left-leaning group.
Inside the Capitol, Republicans continue their one-sided bout with Democrats in the House chamber — since no Democrats are around. Several GOP lawmakers continued to highlight their stand against Democrats and Pelosi, urging them to come back from recess and hold a vote on offshore drilling.
Rep Jim McCrery, R-La., who is the top-ranked Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, spoke to reporters alongside his 12-year-old son, Clark. He said he and his fellow Republicans were occupying the House floor to improve "the standard of living of those who follow my generation," adding that he brought Clark to Washington to "get things done instead of doing things he would rather do."
Rep John Shadegg, R-Ariz., brought a poster that read: "Nancy Pelosi — We're here, Where are you?"
"This is a major message to America and America is listening," said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas.
The House members got a vote of confidence from one of their Senate compatriots, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who wrote President Bush to urge that he call Congress back into session to deal with the energy crisis.
Democrats -- angered at Republicans who have blocked bills aimed at dealing with market speculators and forcing oil companies to drill in areas they have already leased -- say the Republican protest is a political stunt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.