From NBC's Mike Viqueira
Ok. The event that was described earlier, where rebellious Republicans were making speeches on the floor after the House had literally turned out the lights and gone home is now potentially turning into something more. It's not the Bastille and it's not Stonewall, but for this place it's getting exciting.
The situation is taking on a life of its own now, as more and more GOP members have put off their travel plans for a few hours to make speeches to staff. Tourists who might usually come into the balconies for a five-minute look at an empty chamber are being treated to some real stemwinders from very unlikely sources.
Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL), heretofore not known for a fiery oratorical style, just delivered an incendiary address to the assembled GOP staffers sitting in seats normally reserved for members. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), a member I don't ever remember hearing say anything at all, followed Manzullo with a patriotic appeal for justice -- which in this case, as he sees it, is defined by a House vote on offshore drilling.
So they're fired up down there. For Capitol Hill, it's quite a spectacle. The next big moment comes at 4:30 pm ET, when the galleries and the entire building are shut down to tourists. Will the members keep their uprising alive? A spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi says they can talk to staffers on the floor all they want. But the tourists have to go at 4:30 pm ET.
And there still are no lights, no cameras, no sound system or PA for them to use.
*** UPDATE *** The daring insurrection on the House floor has come to a quiet end. There was a presser that included a call for the president to exercise his right to call Congress back into session.
In response, Nancy Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly offers the following quote: "The New Direction Congress led by Democrats has offered real solutions to bring down energy costs, promote renewable fuels and energy efficiency, and promote oil production right here in America. But a majority of Congressional Republicans have voted NO each time. They should go home to their districts and explain their record of obstructing common-sense proposals to address the pain at the pump being felt by American consumers and businesses."