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Republicans Eye Pelosi’s Rhetoric on Drilling

House Republicans continued their assault Wednesday on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for refusing to bring up their offshore drilling bill, though they stopped short of endorsing a presidential veto of any energy bill that doesn’t lift a moratorium on such drilling.

“I’d rather have a comprehensive energy plan,” Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said when pressed on whether President Bush should veto any bill that extends the current moratorium on offshore drilling, which expires at the end of September.

Shimkus said he knows that “there’s some backtracking now” by Pelosi on her willingness to allow a floor vote on offshore drilling.

“We’d like to call her bluff … So then we wouldn’t have to worry about the moratorium on an appropriations bill,” Shimkus said.

Pelosi will join other House Democratic leaders in a conference call at 4 p.m to discuss issues on tap for September, including an energy package aimed at lowering gas prices.

A handful of GOP Members will spend the afternoon in a darkened and nontelevised House chamber calling on Pelosi to bring lawmakers back to town to vote on drilling legislation. They spent the morning painting Pelosi as being too liberal and out of touch with rural America.

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) blasted Pelosi for not bringing Congress back into session while she is “on a book tour hawking her book to save the planet.”

Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) lumped the Speaker in with a group of “liberal coastal elites standing against the heartland of the United States. … These people are wanting to ban our way of life.”

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