WASHINGTON – House Republicans have been using the August break to hammer Democrats on energy, and now their Senate GOP colleagues are getting in on the act.
Although not returning to Washington like their House counterparts, Senate Republicans released a Web video on Monday aimed at goading Democratic leaders to allow a vote on oil drilling legislation. The measure has been blocked in both the House and Senate by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Fifteen senators in all lend their voice to the video, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, David Vitter of Louisiana, Wayne Allard of Colorado, John Thune of South Dakota, Charles Grassley of Iowa and Pete Domenici of New Mexico, who say a host of natural sources can be developed in the United States.
Murkowski: "We can find more (energy) here at home —"
Vitter: "— by exploring for oil offshore —"
Allard: "— by tapping the oil shale of our western states —"
Thune: "— by promoting wind and solar and geothermal —"
Grassley: "— by encouraging advanced biofuels —"
Domenici: "— by adding new nuclear plants."
The Republicans also advocate investment in new technology to reduce fuel consumption
They call on Reid and his fellow Democrats to "act now" and provide a "real debate" — one that allows for Republican amendments — before the congressional session closes. Republicans are hoping for a bill before a new Congress begins, when a smaller number of Republicans are expected to return to Capitol Hill.
Others on the video include Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee; Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr of North Carolina; Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts of Kansas; Kit Bond of Missouri; Thad Cochran of Mississippi; and Mel Martinez of Florida.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley issued a rebuttal to the ad, calling it a sign of desperation.
"This is yet another sign of a party that is totally bankrupt and devoid of any real solutions to solving the countries energy problems. Facts are a stubborn thing. And the fact is, that Senator Reid has repeatedly offered Republicans votes on issues they claimed to want — including more coastline drilling, more subsidies for nuclear power, more oil shale energy production and coal-to-liquid fuels incentives — but Republicans rejected them each and every time," Manley said in a statement to FOXNews.com.
In the House, Republicans returned Monday for a sixth day since their first faux session on Aug. 1, the first official day of the House recess. They have been holding press conferences and mock debates in the Capitol to bring attention to the oil drilling dispute.
While it was a new day, the message sounded similar to previous ones. Republicans speaking to reporters took shots at Pelosi's new book — which reportedly is selling poorly — and supporting tour, and continued pushing for action. Republicans in the House and Senate also have called on President Bush to hold a special session of Congress for energy legislation.
"We as Republicans truly believe in a comprehensive bill that includes renewables and drilling," Rep. Mark Pence, R-Ind., said, encouraging voters to call the Capitol switchboard to speak with Democrats about the issue.
Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., said Pelosi's policy amounts to a constitutional violation.
"Pelosi, by saying no, is saying your constitutional rights don't matter," Myrick said.
FOX News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.