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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after the Republican leadership held open a five-minute vote on its energy bill for nearly 45 minutes, because it was losing the vote and needed additional time to twist arms and subvert the will of the House. The Republican energy bill passed 212-210, after three Republicans (Reps. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania and Bill Young of Florida) who originally voted against the bill changed their votes and supported it. A unanimous Democratic Caucus, one Independent and 13 Republicans voted against the bill:
“This vote on the Republican energy bill, although entirely consistent with the Republican leadership’s willingness to subvert the will of the House, was nothing less than disgraceful.
“What the American people saw today during the vote on this energy bill was the continuation of the corrupting of the democratic process.
“Time after time, the Republican leadership has brought bills to the Floor, time on the vote has run out, and the Republican position was defeated. But then, they have chosen to hold the vote open so that they can twist arms, change votes and achieve a preordained result. The only reason this vote today fails to shock the conscience is that it does not exceed the record three-hour vote on the Republican Medicare prescription drug bill.
“However, what is even more outrageous than the process used to pass this bill is the substance of this bill, which will do absolutely nothing to reduce gasoline prices for American consumers or to increase refining capacity.
“It is perhaps fitting that legislation that is nothing more than a sham should be passed on a vote that was an undemocratic charade.”