House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and a group of Democratic lawmakers took to an empty House floor today to demonstrate that they were willing to work while Republicans lawmakers are at home. “Where are the Republicans?” demanded Assistant to the Minority Leader James Clyburn (R-SC). Joining Pelosi and Clyburn were five other House Democrats who are assigned to the payroll-tax extension conference committee.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), representing House Republicans, quickly banged his gavel over the Democrats’ voices, and instructed the clerk to stop taking notes of the proceedings. Moments later, the microphones were silenced and C-SPAN’s video feed was cut. (The House leadership controls the cameras and has previously cut video of Democrats on the floor.) Watch it:
The theatrical stunt also serves to underscore Provident Obama’s claim this week that Congress is effectively in recess, thus allowing him to make recess appointments, even though the Senate has been holding 30-second long pro-forma sessions.