House Republican leaders moved aggressively Tuesday morning to shift the message from the debt limit and budget to rising gas prices.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said GOP lawmakers who met in a conference this morning got “an earful on gas prices” from their constituents over the two-week recess.
The messaging push comes after numerous reports of Republican lawmakers facing hostile crowds over the GOP budget and its effect on Medicare and Medicaid.
Cantor said House Republicans will bring to the floor measures that go right to the point of undoing some of the impediments that are stopping or slowing down the production of oil. Republicans have slated three bills this week on energy, including the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act, which would lift the ban on offshore drilling and require the administration to increase offshore production.
The bills’ goals are to “maximize energy” production, according to Cantor.
Cantor defended the Republican decision to move ahead with a piecemeal approach to energy policy, putting forward separate bills rather than trying to build support for a comprehensive approach.
Cantor said that larger energy bills have been met with resistance in prior years by Democrats and that Republicans are trying to send a “direct message to the administration to stop putting blocks in the way of our allowing energy production at home.”
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.