Pelosi Dodges Drilling Question; Blames Bush for Economic Downturn
When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) took the role of Speaker of the House on January 4, 2007, the national average price of gas was $2.33 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. Now the average price is hovering around $4 a gallon.
But Pelosi deserves no part of the blame, she told NBC â€śTodayâ€ť co-anchor Meredith Vieira during an interview that aired July 28.
â€śBut the very idea that the Republicans would say, but for offshore drilling our economy would be great â€“ itâ€™s really, itâ€™s a hoax,â€ť Pelosi said. â€śItâ€™s really a hoax on the American people.â€ť
â€śFirst of all, it will not bring down the price of the pump for 10 years and only two cents at that,â€ť Pelosi said. â€śSecond of all, the jobs numbers, the fragility of our financial institutions, the downturn in the capital markets â€“ all of these things, the energy prices to reiterate. All of these things contributing to that and these are the policies, the economic policies of the Bush administration which have failed and we have to take the country in a new direction.â€ť
Vieira didnâ€™t ask Pelosi about the procedural tactics she has employed to prevent a vote on drilling. Roll Call newspaper reported on July 14 that Pelosi was preventing an up-or-down vote on offshore drilling. She placed the vote on the suspension calendar â€“ a method used to block â€śpopular-sounding bills.â€ť
â€śThe suspension calendar has become the Democratic leadersâ€™ favorite weapon for jamming Republicans who either must capitulate or be blamed for blocking popular-sounding bills,â€ť Steven T. Dennis wrote for Roll Call. â€śAnd for Democrats, itâ€™s all done without having to deal with difficult votes on pesky amendments such as oil drilling or gun control.â€ť
â€śUsing the tactic on energy legislation helps Pelosi sidestep amendments on opening up land to offshore drilling â€” amendments that could pass as gas prices soar and public opinions polls show overwhelming support for the idea,â€ť Dennisâ€™s article said.
When Pelosi was asked what, if any role Congress played in the economic downturn she placed the brunt of the blame on President George W. Bush.
â€śWell, letâ€™s say this â€“ there are cycles to economies, but the fact is the president of the
Polls also recently showed that a large majority of the public is unhappy with Congress. A July Rasmussen Reports poll found a nine percent approval rating for Congress, the first time in the pollâ€™s history that Congressional approval had fallen to single digits.