NOPEC (H.R. 6074), a bill passed by the US House on May 21, 2008, is essentially an attempt to sue OPEC for operating a cartel or monopoly. (Official summary: To amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal and for other purposes.) It passed 324 to 84 (with 26 no-votes).
My feelings about this bill can be summarized by quoting Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Tx): "Americans are facing real economic hardships that cannot be overcome with symbolic legislation. This bill would do little more than create another layer of bureaucracy at the taxpayer's expense."
The Republican leadership (Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) specifically) defended the more than 100 Republicans who voted for this bill by saying the bill was "meaningless" and "They [the "yea" voters] don't want to explain why they didn't." That particular sentiment ticked me off a little. Please treat me like an adult, Congress, and try explaining things to me. There have been a few too many times lately when Republican House members have done things that I disagree with, and occasionally I feel like voting ALL of the "bums" out would maybe send the right message.
Right now we are in a heated primary race (3rd District) between Chris Cannon and Jason Chaffetz, and my research has shown very little different between the two, policy-wise. (I haven't yet decided how I'm voting in the late-June primary.) I'm trying to balance "throw the bums out" with Cannon's seniority in D.C., what little differences the two candidates have, and how they are conducting their campaigns.
So I researched how Chris Cannon voted in the NOPEC bill. Imagine my (pleased) surprise when I discovered that he is one of the 84 who voted "Nay" (scroll down for Utah). Good for you, Rep. Cannon. Thanks for sticking to principles and not treating your constituents as too stupid to understand world energy issues. I still haven't decided whom I'm voting for, but that is a definite point in the Cannon column.
(For other Utah districts, Rob Bishop (1st District) voted "Nay" as well, and Jim Matheson (2nd District) did not cast a vote.)