Aug 14, 2008

Michigan House Republicans pull their own juvenile political stunt

LANSING – Michigan House Republicans took a cue from their fellow Grand Oil Party colleagues in the U.S. House and staged their own political stunt Wednesday by holding a press conference to urge the Democrats to call the House back into session from their summer session.

Subscription only MIRS and Gongwer reported 15 die-hard Republicans held a press conference to have Democrats “call the chamber back into session in order to deal with the serious problems facing the state.” Democrats control the House and Republicans the Senate, and Democrats rightly asked why doesn’t Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop call the Senate back into session.

In fact, environmental and conservation groups also urged the Senate to work on the energy package it has dragged it feet on so it can be voted on and sent onto the governor.

“Michigan's elected officials need to recognize that their delay in passing clean energy is costing Michigan jobs," said James Clift, policy director of the Michigan Environmental Council, in Gongwer. "The state has a great opportunity to diversify its economy, but it is slipping away. Senate leaders need to stop playing politics and get to work on completing this package."

Both the House and Senate had a session day schedule for Wednesday, but it was canceled for a lack of items to act on. The House has a session day set for Aug. 20 and the Senate Aug. 27, and regular sessions being again on Sept. 9, but the minority House Republicans stuck to the ridiculous notion of calling the Legislature back even though they will be back in a week.

The energy bills are in a joint House-Senate conference committee to iron out the differences between the two versions, and environmental and economic development groups are hoping the ridiculously low 10 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) passed by the Senate is improved upon.

All 110 House seats are up for election in two months, but no seats are up for election in the Senate. It’s clear the Republicans have no chance of taking back control of the House after it lost it in 2006, and this stunt is just one more desperate, political sideshow by the GOP to throw up a roadblock to that.

The stunt closely resembles the Grand Oil Party’s juvenile stunt earlier this month where they preached to each other in the dark after the U.S. House and Senate were adjourned for the annual summer break on the false notion that giving oil companies more leases in environmentally sensitive areas will reduce gas prices.

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