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McCotter to Protest On

In case anyone was worried that Republicans would stop holding daily protests on the House floor over drilling votes during their party’s convention next month, never fear: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will be skipping the national convention to continue the protest. McCotter said he was “volunteered to be here instead of at the Republican National Convention” after proposing to GOP leaders that they continue protesting Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) opposition to offshore drilling throughout both party’s conventions. “Colleagues are signing up. It will go on,” McCotter said of the protest, which for weeks has involved handfuls of GOP Members giving speeches in an empty House chamber about the need to hold an up-or-down vote on their pro-drilling energy proposal. As for those who have suggested that the GOP convention should take priority over the protest, McCotter said those people “are already going to vote Republican anyways and all I can do is change their mind.” “I’m actually much better off here,” he added. While Democrats will all be “in one place doing nothing about American energy” while attending their convention, Republicans will be at their Minneapolis/St. Paul convention and on the House floor, “in two places, trying to do something about American energy,” McCotter said. On another front, Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.) suggested that former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge — a leading contender for the Republican vice presidential slot — would be “a terrific choice” as a running mate for presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). While one sticking point for conservatives may be that Ridge supports abortion rights, any notion that he is out of the mainstream on this front is “absurd” given his support for more restrictive abortion laws in his home state, English said. “I feel strongly about being pro-life,” English said. “But I also believe we’re a big-tent party and I don’t believe in saliva tests.”

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