The Best Civics Lesson in Washington

Americans of all political stripes have a rare opportunity to observe history firsthand as Republicans continue to speak on the House floor about U.S. energy policy. Regardless of where you stand politically or on the energy debate specifically, this is your opportunity to sit on the House floor and watch this debate unfold with your own eyes.

The C-SPAN cameras may be turned off and the chamber’s lights may be dimmed, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds (if not thousands) of American citizens from watching the debate on the floor already. You, too, can take part. Here are three simple steps to get on the House floor.

  1. Call your member of Congress (find a list here) or the Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121).
  2. Tell your congressman that you want to visit the House floor to see the action. Regardless of political party, your member should accommodate you. (You cannot bring bags, cameras, video equipment or mobile phones on the floor.)
  3. If for some reason your member of Congress is unwilling to help, you should call the Republican Whip’s Office at 202-225-0197.

As it currently stands today, Republicans are planning to continue this debate for the rest of the month, so even if you can’t make it to Washington this week, there should be an opportunity to visit the House floor later in August.