In August, Congressional Republicans staged a series of political stunts on the floor of the House of Representatives to express their displeasure with the House Democrats going into summer recess “without voting on whether to end the 26-year ban on [oil] drilling along the US coastline” (The House subsequently let the ban expire). Among the House Republicans who participated in the days-long protest was Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL).
At the time, Stearns issued a press release urging that members cut short their summer break to do “the people’s business” and support offshore oil drilling. The release headlined:
STEARNS CALLS ON HOUSE LEADERSHIP TO INTERUPT [sic] MEMBERS’ FIVE-WEEK BREAK TO VOTE ON ENERGY LEGISLATION
STAYS IN WASHINGTON ADVOCATING ACTION ON RENEWABLE ENERGY, ALTERNATIVE FUELS, AND MORE DOMESTIC OIL & GAS PRODUCTION
Now, however, Stearns’s dedication to “the people’s business” seems to be flagging. Yesterday, in a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Stearns requested that the House reschedule its Thursday and Friday votes so that he can attend the BCS National Championship Game between that University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma. Stearns wrote:
As you may be aware, on Thursday January 8, the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma will play for the national football championship. Members of the Florida and Oklahoma delegations have expressed interest in attending the game as the congressional schedule allows. However, votes are currently scheduled to continue into Thursday night and Friday afternoon. We ask that you move these votes to either Wednesday and/or Thursday morning to allow Members to attend this historic game.
The AP notes that while Stearns appeared to be speaking for both the Florida and Oklahoma delegations, he was the sole signatory of the letter. The Speaker’s office “said she would not agree to the request.” They will proceed, as scheduled, with voting to certify the “Electoral College vote that gives Barack Obama the presidency,” among other things.