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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: 400 Days Fighting for Peace

Anyone who has watched House speeches regularly — and there are about five of us — has heard Rep. Lynn Woolsey speak about getting U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and urge support for her SMART Security resolution.

Obviously we five die-hard floor speech fans know the California Democrat has given a similar speech every day that the House has been in session since April 20, 2004.

As of Tuesday morning, Woolsey has given 400 (!) speeches on the the same topic (and, boy, must her jaw be tired.)

“In April 2004 my staff gave me a memo, asking if I wanted to give a special order speech on some long-forgotten issue,” she said on the floor Tuesday morning. “My answer was no, I didn’t want to speak on that issue.”

Um, Woolsey staffers, get it together. Didn’t you know your boss would want to “deliver a speech, that day and every other day” the House was session to express her opposition to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan?

She wasn’t alone in her talk-a-thon. Woolsey and fellow Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Maxine Waters (Calif.) called themselves a triad, and they all talked (and talked and talked) about bringing home the troops.

At the time Woolsey started her speeches, she said, the wars were still popular, but now the tide of public opinion has turned.

“I don’t believe that would have happened unless a few lonely voices had dared to be heard in those early days,” she said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but I’m also frustrated.”

Woolsey promised to continue to give as many speeches as she can in the year and a half she has left in the House.

In a related story, HOH has found the easiest speechwriting gig on the Hill. Kidding, kidding.

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