This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have required all oil and gas produced as a result of leases authorized by an offshore oil drilling bill to be sold exclusively in the United States. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion to recommit was offered to legislation requiring the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that had been cancelled or delayed by the Obama administration.
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan urged support for this motion to recommit: “…American families are hurting right now. When the cost of gas at the pump rises, that means that the cost of groceries goes up, the cost of goods goes up, and the cost of just getting to work goes up. The American people need relief; and the way this legislation is written, it will do nothing to decrease the price at the pump, and it will do nothing to lower the international price of oil. All day today, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have suggested that drilling more is the solution to high gas prices. If my Republican colleagues really believe that increasing drilling in the U.S. will lower gas prices, then we should all be able to agree that oil produced in America should stay in America to help American families and American businesses. That's why I am offering this final amendment today--to ensure that oil resources that are produced through leasing under this act are kept here and sold here in the United States. Simply put, this means, if we produce it here, we should keep it here for the American people.”
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) opposed the motion to recommit: “Quite frankly, this amendment [motion to recommit] is redundant, unnecessary, and another attempt to divert attention from the real issue of increasing energy production in order to create jobs, lower energy costs, and improve national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil.…exports are already subject to the Export Administration Act. Before any oil or gas can be exported, the President must find that the exports will not diminish the total quantity or quality of petroleum available to the U.S. and the national interests and are in accord with the provisions of the Export Administration Act of 1969. If the President finds that exports are in violation of the Export Administration Act, an executive order can halt all these exports if Congress finds that the exports are in conflict with the national interests, and they can act accordingly.”
The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 171-238. Voting “yea” were 170 Democrats and 1 Republican. 234 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have required all oil and gas produced as a result of leases authorized by an offshore oil drilling bill to be sold exclusively in the United States.