Rockwall Congressman Ralph Hall joined attempt to keep Congress in session

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, joined an unsuccessful attempt last week to keep lawmakers in Washington until Congress took action on an energy bill rather than adjourn for a five-week district work period.

Hall joined 194 Republicans and 17 Democrats in voting not to adjourn. The measure failed 213-212 and Congress adjourned last Friday for a district work period that extends until September 8.

“This is much too long to leave Americans hostage to the gas pumps,” Hall said.

“Congress should not adjourn until we’ve done something to bring down the high cost of gasoline,” Hall said in a released statement. “I don’t see how the leadership can adjourn when the folks back home are looking to us to help them with their gas prices and grocery prices. They are struggling to meet their family’s needs — and Congress should be helping them.”

Hall said he has signed several discharge petitions to bring legislation to the Floor for a vote — drilling in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf, incentives for new refineries, investments in clean energy sources, such as wind and nuclear, and promotion of alternative fuels, among other plans.

“I am also an original cosponsor of the American Energy Act — an all-of-the-above energy strategy developed by members of the House Republican Conference,” Hall’s statement read.

“Republicans are asking for a simple up-or-down vote on this bill before Congress adjourns.”

Last week Hall introduced legislation to transfer the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the State of Alaska for expeditious and environmentally responsible exploration and development of oil.

Hall’s bill currently has 48 cosponsors. The House has voted 19 times on ANWR development since the 96th Congress.

“None of these votes led to more domestic production — but my legislation would take this decision out of the hands of Congress and place it back where it belongs — with the residents of the State of Alaska,” Hall said.

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