Rep. Pence Wants Congress to Talk Energy

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 31, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALEXIS GLICK, GUEST HOST: Let's go back down to Capitol Hill. You just heard an American telling Congress to say and drill.

Now to a Congressman who's actually listening. He wants President Bush to call for an immediate special session to bring the vote on drilling to the floor.

With us now is Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana.

Congressman, I applaud you, if you can manage how to figure out how to keep Congress in session. How do you intend to do that?

REP. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Well, look, the — the — the Congress had a vote on adjournment yesterday, Alexis. It passed by one vote.

Video: Watch guest host Alexis Glick's interview with Mike Pence

And, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, Congress is — is going to drop the gavel and — and head out of town for a five-week vacation. But, you know, the American people aren't going to get a vacation from high gasoline prices.

So, I went to the floor this morning and asked the president of the United States to use his power, under Article II, Section 3, and call a special session of Congress. I think he should call it a special energy session and bring the Congress back into session.


PENCE: He's never done it before.


PENCE: But he ought to bring them into session and make them vote on giving the American people more access to American oil.

GLICK: Sounds fantastic.

However, I just spoke to the energy secretary yesterday, and, frankly, you and I both know, the polarization right now on this energy bill between Democrats and Republicans — I even asked the energy secretary what are they willing to concede on. It doesn't appear as though anybody's willing to concede to get a bill done. Is it realistic, if you call an emergency session, that you will accomplish something?

PENCE: If — look, number one, the first thing that the president calling a special session of Congress would do, Alexis, is focus the American people even more on this issue. He's never called an emergency or a special session before under his constitutional powers to do so. And I think it would call into high relief the importance of this issue.

Number two, I have to tell you, I just came from the House floor. We're just finishing a vote series. I really believe in my heart that, for the first time in my nearly eight years in Congress, I believe there is a bipartisan majority in Congress that would vote to give the American people more access to American oil, especially on the Outer Continental Shelf.

GLICK: OK, let me ask...

PENCE: That adjournment motion only failed by one vote yesterday. And that wasn't even a — you know, that wasn't even a vote on whether we should drill or not on the Continental Shelf.


GLICK: OK, did you — and I'm sure you have heard about this, because you're in the loop probably better than I am, but Senator Mitch McConnell was down in the Senate, and he basically went out there, and he asked on several — several occasions the Democrats if they would agree to do deep sea exploration if prices were at $4.50, $5, $7.50, and 10 bucks.

And, in every case, Democrats objected. So, how are we going to get anything done?

PENCE: Well, look, there was a little glimmer of light there. If you remember, the first of the week, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate actually offered the Republicans, I think, about four different energy votes. They wisely negotiated and lobbied for even — even, you know, more bites at the apple.

But — but I think there are some cracks in the wall here, but, Alexis, not if we leave town...

GLICK: Absolutely.

PENCE: ... not if we head out of town on a five-week vacation. That's why, now that Congress, by one vote, has voted to adjourn either later tonight or tomorrow, the only person who can hold Congress' feet to the fire...

GLICK: Is the president.

PENCE: ... and put Congress in session is the president of the United States.


Let me ask you this one last question, all right?


GLICK: This housing bill that just passed, right, north of 700 pages. There are things in there that I was completely shocked by, when I had an opportunity to look at it.


GLICK: What is this energy bill going to look like?

PENCE: Well, look, I think, you know, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have a comprehensive bill. It's an all-of-the-above bill. I think you would see members be willing to — to work together on issues like conservation, on issues like alternative sources of energy.


PENCE: But we have to give the American people an up-or-down vote on the subject of offshore drilling in particular.


PENCE: And if we bring that vote in a special session, Alexis, I believe it would pass.

GLICK: All right.

Congressman Pence, I hate to do it, but I have got to leave it here. I hope you win. And I hope we get back to doing the job we need to do, because we're all hurting at the pump. Thanks so much for joining us.

PENCE: Thank you.

GLICK: All right.

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