Hoping to use the two-week Easter recess to ramp up the GOP’s attacks on President Barack Obama’s energy policies, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy laid out a messaging agenda today designed to highlight the differences between the two parties’ energy development proposals.
Kicking off the latest effort by his House Energy Action Team, a group of about 30 GOP lawmakers McCarthy has dubbed the HEAT Team, the California Republican laid into Senate Democrats and Obama over the administration’s energy policies.
“We watch this energy crisis erupt, we see a Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer ask Saudi Arabia to produce more oil,” McCarthy said at a news conference today. “Well, we believe in American jobs, and we believe in American oil from American soil. We listen to the president talk about all-of-the-above? Well we believe in all-of-the-above, but unfortunately the president believes in ‘none-from-below.’”
Chief Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), who is also a leader of the HEAT Team, was equally critical, saying that Obama is “catering to the people with the weird bumper stickers on the back of their cars you try to avoid on the highway.”
McCarthy also circulated a set of recess talking points today on energy issues to members of the HEAT Team, as well as other rank-and-file members of the Conference.
The 22-page document includes examples of activities Members can take in their districts to highlight GOP energy plans or attack the administration, and McCarthy and Roskam urged Members “to incorporate at least one energy-related activity into your district work period agenda.”
“Suggested activities are included in this packet, such as writing an op-ed for a local or regional paper, hosting a round-table discussion with business leaders or holding a press conference at a local gas station,” they added. “While this list is not exhaustive, we hope it inspires action that further encourages President Obama and Washington Democrats to embrace our plan for energy security, economic growth and job creation.”
Although much of McCarthy’s materials focus on legislation the House has already passed, it also indicates Republicans will make a new push to stymie ongoing regulatory efforts by the Obama administration, increase domestic exploration, expand the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve and speed the drilling process.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.