Democrats Ignore Their Own Standards
Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Republican Leader John Shimkus (R-IL) released the following statement after Democrats rushed H.R. 9, Climate Action Now Act, through committee.
"Climate change is real. Republicans will continue to advance serious and achievable solutions to protect our environment and the American people. We know we can work with Democrats to further the progress we made last Congress to reduce carbon emissions, boost clean energy options, and modernize power generation. This was an effective blueprint -- a relentless pursuit of common-sense initiatives. This produced results over rhetoric, and it can work again. The legislation we've considered falls far short of that standard. Democrats have abandoned regular order -- to force the Obama administration's expensive commitments on the American people without broad-based support from Congress," Walden and Shimkus said.
In the minority, Democrats championed regular order. At the start of this Congress, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) made it clear regular order would be followed.
Now, he has spiked that promise. How can Democrats claim climate change is the biggest existential threat of our generation and then turn around and abandon the legislative process on their premier climate legislation -- consequently, ignoring input from all involved and impacted?
Democrats brought their climate legislation to a full committee mark-up a week after it was introduced (March 27).
No subcommittee hearings. No subcommittee mark-up. No feedback from the administration, stakeholders, or other experts.
This came the same week Democrats waived Energy and Commerce's jurisdiction on H.R. 1585 (VAWA), which the House Committee on the Judiciary is taking to the floor (after a hearing and markup), and which House Democrats brought H.Res. 271, a resolution regarding Texas v. United States in which Energy and Commerce has primary jurisdiction, to the House Floor with no hearing or markup at the committee.
Republicans offered a series of amendments at the markup to address their concerns.
Rep. Shimkus offered an amendment that ensures the U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement will not raise electricity rates or gasoline prices. The amendment failed 24-29 on a party-line vote.
Rep. Carter offered an amendment to recognize how nuclear power will contribute to emissions reductions and be a key part of our climate solutions. The amendment failed on a party-line vote 23-29.
Rep. Mullin offered an amendment that delays the legislation from taking effect until the Secretary of Energy certifies that Russia and China have each committed to emissions reductions equivalent to the commitments of the United States. The amendment failed on a party-line vote 22-28.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers offered an amendment to recognize how renewable hydropower contributes to global and domestic emissions reductions. The amendment failed on a party-line vote 22-29.
Rep. Flores offered the Green New Deal as an amendment in the nature of a substitute in order to debate the sweeping proposal. Republican Leaders have asked for hearings to be held on the Green New Deal so that the American people can better understand its full impact, but those requests have gone unanswered. The amendment was withdrawn.
Rep. Johnson offered an amendment that recognizes how natural gas and liquefied natural gas exports contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The amendment failed on a party-line 19-29.