House Republicans on Thursday turned back Democratic efforts to force a release of three days worth of crude oil from the nation's strategic reserve in an attempt to temporarily relieve gas prices. However, by allowing the vote on the energy bill to emerge under rules requiring a two-thirds vote for passage, Democrats kept the Republicans from introducing a bill to permit offshore drilling where it now is banned. "They're hiding from a vote," said U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio. "They're scared to death to allow us to ... force their members to vote on drilling."

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