An embattled conservative minority that is out of ideas and beholden to Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and other polluters threw everything they had at the comprehensive clean energy jobs plan passed by the House of Representatives. But Minority Leader John Boehner sank to a new low in the clean energy debate -- even for himself.
After hours of debate on the American Clean Energy & Security Act, all that was left before voting were the closing speeches by the Speaker and the Minority Leader. Boehner was yielded two and half minutes and then proceeded to speak for...more than an hour.
Only in the alternate universe known as the U.S. Congress can one minute be an endless amount of time. Boehner's soliloquy, in which he made good on a tweet to read much of the 300-page manager's amendment to the bill approved last night, was the last, desperate act of a conservative minority bereft of ideas and solutions.
Knowing that he didn't have the votes to stop the clean energy jobs bill, Boehner instead turned to a tactic familiar those who want stand in the way of progress -- delay. Boehner took advantage of an obscure House rule allowing just three Members -- the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader -- unlimited time. This was of course the same sad tactic that backfired on the Senate GOP leadership during last year's climate debate. Oh yeah, and those folks that wanted to stop the civil rights movement.
(And here you thought we only had to worry about filibusters in the Senate!)
Always a model of grace, Speaker Nancy Pelosi rose to speak after Boehner finally yielded the floor. After more than an hour of delay, she reserved most of her speech for entry into the Congressional Record alone, save this reminder:
"Just remember the four words on what this legislation means -- jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs."
In any case, Boehner's hour of childish rambling merely delayed a successful result and the House went on to pass the first comprehensive clean energy and climate plan on a vote of 219-212!
For those who missed today's often inane debate. Our friends at Progressive Media put together a short video of today's greatest hits (and greatest misses). Watch it: