What About the Second '100 Hours,' Republicans Ask
(CNSNews.com) - Democrats are congratulating themselves for passing six bills, as promised, well within the "100 hour" time limit they set for themselves. Republicans complain that Democrats did it all right -- without serious consideration of the bills they were passing.
"Today, Democrats stood united to say that we have kept our promise to the American people," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was quoted as saying after the House passed the final item on its six-point, quick-strike agenda -- a bill raising taxes and fees on domestic oil and gas producers.
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri complained that the energy bill, like the five others before it, came to the House floor "without any committee work or review, without any debate."
Blunt expressed the hope that Democrats -- with their first 100 hours behind them -- will now allow a more "open and accountable discussion of the issues," something the American people deserve, he said.
"House Republicans hope to work in a bipartisan way to support our troops in the field, balance the budget, and continue tax policies that have led to a robust economy and unprecedented job creation, but House Democrats clearly demonstrated during the first 100 hours that they wouldn't live up to their promises of procedural fairness.
"As a result, many of the 100 hours 'accomplishments' can't make it through the Senate, have had to be revisited, or will certainly be vetoed," Blunt warned He said a more open and deliberative process would have produced better legislation.
As for the energy bill, Blunt called it "simply outrageous," adding that it won't solve the nation's energy challenges and may cost jobs.
"If you increase the cost of domestic oil production in the United States, prices are going to rise at the pump. Not to mention, we'll make our country more dependent on foreign sources of oil. The Democrats' energy package is a win for OPEC," Blunt said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote to pass the bill "represents the first step toward a future of energy independence.
"By rolling back $14 billion in subsidies for Big Oil at time when they have recorded record profits, and investing that money in clean
renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels, we will reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Pelosi said.
The bill passed 264-163.
The National Ocean Industries Association, a trade group representing the offshore industry, warned that the Clean Energy Act of 2007 will harm domestic energy production.
"The tax provisions that were targeted for repeal by this legislation had been put in place specifically to keep our domestic market competitive with foreign countries that offer lower costs of doing business," said NOIA President Tom Fry.
"By voting to repeal those provisions through H.R. 6, the Congress is raising the cost of doing business here at home. This may have the effect of encouraging industry to move its investment to other countries, taking with it tens of billions of dollars in capital and hundreds of thousands of jobs."
NOIA is urging the Senate to "correct the mistakes made by the House in passing H.R. 6."
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