Robert Gehl reports that there’s so much disagreement and infighting within the Republican Party, you’d think they were a bunch of Democrats.
The GOP is the party in power now, so you’d think they’d get along and move like a single, unstoppable force to push through a unified agenda.
Far from it: They have been at loggerheads over the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare, with massive schisms over just how far to go in ridding the country of the last vestiges of the Affordable Care Act.
So-called “moderate” Republicans, especially ones in rural districts and states, have been more reluctant to completely do away with Obamacare, while others are pushing to eliminate it altogether.
The same infighting can be seen over climate change now, with more than a handful of GOP members of Congress peeling away from the party line to embrace at least some facets of the “climate change” theory.
The latest example of this is the “Republican Climate Resolution,” supported by a handful of lawmakers, most in their first or second terms.
It is a 450-word statement by House members that echoes conservative thought on environmentalism, supports climate science, mentions possible impacts and calls for an economically viable policy. It supports further study and mitigation measures, “using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism.”
The resolution was introduced by Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik (New York), Carlos Curbelo (Florida) and Ryan Costello (Pennsylvania), but was co-sponsored by 14 others.
The bill’s co-sponsors hail from parts of the country on the front lines of climate change, Bloomberg reports; three represent southern Florida. Others comes from northern Nevada and central Utah, where mountain snowpack has declined in recent decades. And the district of Representative Mark Sanford, in eastern South Carolina, is seeing the rising sea level rise slowly eat away at its coastline.
In a statement, Curbelo – who represent the Florida Keys – said his district is already seeing the effects of global warming.
“South Florida residents are already beginning to feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives – from chronic flooding to coral bleaching to threats to our freshwater supply in the Everglades,” he said. “We cannot ignore these challenges and every Member of Congress has a responsibility to our constituents and future generations to support market-based solutions, investments, and innovations that could alleviate the effects of climate change and make our nation more resilient.”
With so few supporters, it’s very unlikely the “Republican Climate Resolution” will get any traction, but it’s notable that this comes at a time when the GOP is attempting to unify to pass a conservative agenda while they’re still in power.
The co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. Mark Amodei (NV-02), Don Bacon (NE-02), Barbara Comstock (VA-10), John Faso (NY-19), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), John Katko (NY-24), Mia Love (UT-04), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Brian Mast (FL-18), Pat Meehan (PA-07), Tom Reed (NY-23), David Reichert (WA-08), and Mark Sanford (SC-01).
Here is the entire text of the resolution:
Whereas it is a conservative principle to protect, conserve, and be good stewards of our environment, responsibly plan for all market factors, and base our policy decisions in science and quantifiable facts on the ground;
Whereas prudent, fact-based stewardship of our economy and our environment is a critical responsibility for all Americans in order to ensure that we preserve our great Nation for future generations;
Whereas there has been a marked increase in extreme weather events across the United States, including more frequent heat waves, extreme precipitation, wildfires, and water scarcity;
Whereas this has had noticeable, negative impacts that are expected to worsen in every region of the United States and its territories, including, among other significant weather events and environmental disruptions, longer and hotter heat waves, more severe storms, worsening flood and drought cycles, growing invasive species and insect problems, threatened native plant and wildlife populations, rising sea levels, and, when combined with a lack of proper forest management, increased wildfire risk;
Whereas increased pollutants and other factors contribute to local, regional, and national environmental and human health impacts, including increased mercury in the fish we eat, elevated asthma attacks in our children, acid rain, smog, degraded water quality, urban heat islands, and rapid storm water runoff that leads to costly infrastructure projects;
Whereas the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review states that the effects of a changing climate are “threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions”;
Whereas, if left unaddressed, the consequences of a changing climate have the potential to adversely impact all Americans, hitting vulnerable populations hardest, harming productivity in key economic sectors such as construction, agriculture, and tourism, saddling future generations with costly economic and environmental burdens, and imposing additional costs on State and Federal budgets that will further add to the long-term fiscal challenges that we face as a Nation;
Whereas any efforts to mitigate the risks of, prepare for, or otherwise address our changing climate and its effects should not constrain the United States economy, especially in regards to global competitiveness; and
Whereas there is increasing recognition that we can and must take meaningful and responsible action now to address this issue: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives commits to working constructively, using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact.