HALL VOTES NOT TO ADJOURN UNTIL HOUSE PASSES GASOLINE PRICE RELIEF
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4) voted today to keep the House leadership from adjourning Congress for a five-week district work period unless Congress passes legislation to provide relief from high gasoline prices. Hall joined 194 Republicans and 17 Democrats in voting not to adjourn, but the measure failed by a disappointingly close vote of 213-212.
"Congress should not adjourn until we've done something to bring down the high cost of gasoline, Hall said. "I don't see how the leadership can adjourn when the folks back home are looking to us to help them with their gas prices and grocery prices. They are struggling to meet their family's needs - and Congress should be helping them."
"I've signed several discharge petitions to bring legislation to the Floor for a vote that would help provide relief both in the short-term and long-term," Hall said. These include drilling in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf, incentives for new refineries, investments in clean energy sources such as wind and nuclear and promotion of alternative fuels, among others.
"I am also an original cosponsor of the American Energy Act - an all-of-the-above energy strategy developed by Members of the House Republican Conference," Hall noted. "Republicans are asking for a simple up-or-down vote on this bill before Congress adjourns."
The American Energy Act improves energy conservation and efficiency by providing tax incentives for businesses and families that purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles and improve energy efficiency in their businesses and homes. It provides a monetary prize for developing the first economically feasible vehicle reaching 100 miles-per-gallon. The bill promotes renewable and alternative energy technologies and increases the supply of domestic production in environmentally sound ways. It would open deep water ocean resources, which could provide 3 million barrels of oil per day; open the Arctic coastal plain, which could provide 1 million barrels of oil per day; and develop shale oil, which could provide 2.5 million barrels of oil per day.
"All of the above will increase the supply of domestic energy, reduce gas prices and help make our nation less dependent on foreign oil," Hall said. "Conservation efforts, renewable energy, alternative fuels, and increased domestic production are all part of the mix."
Last week Hall introduced legislation to transfer the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the State of Alaska for expeditious and environmentally responsible exploration and development of oil. Hall's bill currently has 48 cosponsors. The House has voted 19 times on ANWR development since the 96th Congress. "None of these votes led to more domestic production - but my legislation would take this decision out of the hands of Congress and place it back where it belongs - with the residents of the State of Alaska," Hall added.
Congress is scheduled to adjourn on Friday for a district work period that extends until September 8. "This is much too long to leave Americans hostage to the gas pumps," Hall added.