GOP Could Obstruct Adjournment Vote

Posted July 25, 2008 at 3:55pm

With only a few days left until the August recess, the House is gearing up for a debate on its first fiscal 2009 spending bill as well as legislation relating to oil-market speculation and wage discrimination.

Meanwhile, GOP leaders signaled they may be rallying their Members to vote against the adjournment resolution if Democrats don’t allow a vote on their energy package during the week.

“The vote on the adjournment resolution will become one of the most important votes we cast this year” if the Republican energy package doesn’t come up for a vote, states a GOP leadership memo distributed to Members on Friday.

“If the Democratic majority refuses to allow a vote next week on the American Energy Act, a vote for the adjournment resolution will be a vote against the American people and a vote against American energy independence,” the memo states.

As early as Wednesday, lawmakers are expected to take up the fiscal 2009 appropriations bill for military construction and veterans affairs. The $118.7 billion package, which boosts veterans’ health care and improves housing and medical facilities for troops, is $3.4 billion above President Bush’s request and $8.8 billion above current spending.

On the energy front, Democrats are set to bring forward yet another bill aimed at lowering record high gas prices, which would clamp down on speculation in oil markets.

That bill is likely to surface on the suspension calendar, which means no amendments and limited debate. It also likely means defeat, like the two energy bills that preceded it, because it would need GOP support for passage. Republican lawmakers want Democrats to allow a vote on opening more land to drilling.

Lawmakers will also take up legislation to increase the penalty for wage discrimination on the basis of gender.

House leaders could also bring forward conference reports relating to Amtrak reauthorization, a Consumer Product Safety Commission overhaul, higher education and Native American health.

For their part, Republicans will spend the week pushing for a floor vote on their “all of the above” energy package, which includes offshore and Arctic drilling in the mix of its proposals for bringing down gas costs.