We are letting them have their fun because it only makes them look stupid," said a Democratic leadership aide, adding that the Speaker's Lobby was closed as it normally is when the House is not in session but denied that Democratic leadership was attempting to kick the press out of the gallery.
Republicans had hoped to highlight to a C-SPAN audience that Democrats were leaving town without voting on expanding areas open to oil drilling, but C-SPAN relies on the Houses television cameras, which are automatically turned off when the House is not in session.
Asked for comment, the Speakers office attacked the GOP.
Republicans are too scared to go home to face their constituents after voting against bills to force Big Oil companies to use it or lose it, demand that the president free our oil from the government stockpile and crack down on speculators, said Nadeam Elshami, spokesman for Pelosi. In a week where Exxon Mobil made the largest quarterly profits by a U.S. corporation, Republicans are staying in Washington to argue that Big Oil deserves more taxpayer lands. That sums up their priorities.