Democrats in the Senate walked out of their committee meeting on Wednesday, which denied a quorum for the Republicans that they needed to pass a measure to overturn the climate rule President Obama announced for power plants.
Senator Barbara Boxer a Democrat from California and the top Democrat on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, set up the walkout in protest over a separate bill on pesticides which has not even had a hearing’
James Inhofe the committee chairman was not able to find a sufficient number of senators to have the 11 needed for a quorum.
While it was not stated by Boxer as her intention, the action pushed back, albeit only a few hours, the vote by the committee to block the implementation by the Environmental Protection Agency of the climate rule.
The Democrats walkout followed close to two hours of quite tense debate on the bill, marked by passionate speeches and Democrats talking at length about proposed amendments, which failed due to party lines.
Boxer said the hearing had been terrific. She called it difficult and emotional but everyone got through it.
Boxer added that it was disturbing for Democrats that the other legislation that is on the measure, which says for the first time in four years that if you spray pesticides on top of water, you are not required to receive a permit for the Clean Water Act. We have not held a single hearing regarding that bill, not one.
She requested that Inhofe delay voting on the measure but he refused to oblige her.
The main purpose of the meeting was to consider a bill authored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito that would overturn the country’s Clean Power Plan and would make it next to impossible for it to be re-written by the EPA.
Through the entire meeting, Democrats were castigating Republicans for attempting to overturn the most significant action on climate change the U.S. has ever taken.
The amendments by the Democrats would kept the current in place, unless certain conditions had been met, including that the Republicans pass legislation to have similar goals in public health or carbon accomplished or that the bill would not exacerbate a rise in sea level.