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Republicans, Democrats call for end to impasse on climate change, return to civility
WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 15, 2017 – At a reception this week to honor members of Congress for leadership on climate change, two Republicans and two Democrats issued a plea to their colleagues to depoliticize the climate issue and come together to forge solutions.
“We need to get beyond this Hatfields versus McCoys brand of politics,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), after accepting the Climate Leadership Award from Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
In a statement issued from his office, Fitzpatrick said, “While there is room for debate and discussion on the issue, it is vital that we never politicize protecting our environment or let partisanship prevent Washington from accomplishing common goals.”
Other recipients of the award, presented Tuesday evening at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C., were Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD). All are members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, formed under the leadership of Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) “as an organization to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety.”
The Climate Solutions Caucus was cited Thursday as an example of how to restore civility in Congress in the wake of Thursday’s horrific shooting in Alexandria, VA. Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) said:
“We’ve got to find a way to dial this back. I would give an example of people trying to do that in a small way. There’s a Climate Solutions Caucus here in the Congress, and what they’ve said is that for every Democrat that goes on, you can’t get on unless there’s a Republican that goes with you. And I think there probably ought to be a little more pairing, whether it’s in a caucus form or whether it’s in legislative form here in Washington, and I think people are going to be looking for ways to do just that.”
At the reception Tuesday evening, Congresswoman Love said, “When people come into a room and they talk about what they’re FOR, that is democracy at its best. As a member of Congress, as an American and as a Republican, I think it is our responsibility to work across the aisle together to get rid of partisan politics and do what’s right for the American people and the world.”
In receiving his award, Congressman Delaney said, “Partisan politics is all about putting party ahead of country. I love being a Democrat, but I’m an American first. This issue is such an obvious one to bring that attitude forward.”
The reception capped a day of lobbying in which 1,000 volunteers from across the nation met with 500 congressional offices on Capitol Hill to press the case for a rising fee on carbon with revenue returned to households. Constituents also asked their representatives to consider joining the Climate Solutions Caucus. Preliminary reports indicate that membership in the caucus, which now stands at 42 with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, will soon grow to 50.
“The partisan impasse on climate change is about to end, thanks to members like Love, Lowenthal, Fitzpatrick and Delaney,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “It’s only a matter of time before we see effective, bipartisan legislation to re-establish American leadership in reducing carbon emissions.”