By Molly K. Hooper - 07/21/09 02:44 PM EDT
Tensions rose on the House floor Tuesday when Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took on dozens of Republicans in the chamber who, for more than three hours, continued blaming Democratic policies for not creating new jobs.
"I've been listening to this litany of 'Where are the jobs?' " Hoyer fired off. "We have lost 200,000 less jobs per month than Bush lost in his last three months in office over the last three months. Is that where we want to be? It is not. But it is 200,000 better than your last three months in your administration. Those are the facts. Refute them if you can. Keep talking."
Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) encouraged House Republicans at their early morning conference to use one of the few opportunities afforded the minority party to speak out on the floor, GOP leadership aides explained.
House procedure allows for an unlimited number of one-minute speeches on Tuesdays.
At any given time, 40 to 50 members were sitting on the GOP side of the aisle in solidarity.
The effort was reminiscent of last August, when dozens of Republicans returned each day of recess to speak to a dimly lit chamber in protest of Democratic leaders' intention to deny a vote on an oil-exploration bill amid record-high gas prices.
This story was updated at 5:35 p.m.