Yesterday, Republican members of the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations were able to attain a victory as the minority party. They voted 4 to 2 to end a scheduled Oversight subcommittee hearing, declaring any discussion of global warming didn’t belong in the confines of the committee. It adjourned within minutes of beginning. Ouch.
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, the top Republican on the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, called for the vote after laying out the case that climate change was not within the jurisdiction of the committee, based on its charter and bylaws.
Gohmert called for a vote to adjourn following his opening remarks, and a roll call vote was held. Witnesses at the hearing were not introduced before the Republicans left the hearing room.
The hearing of the House Natural Resources panel was to be the latest to dive into climate change since Democrats took control of the House last month, bringing new attention to the issue they complained Republicans had ignored during their eight years leading the chamber. The hearing was designed to probe the “denial playbook” that Democrats say fossil fuel backers have copied from cigarette companies — the same tactics used by opioid makers and the National Football League to dispute strong scientific evidence.
“This is now the seventh oversight hearing related to climate change that the majority is holding this month, starting with a full committee hearing,” Gohmert said in his opening statement.
“These matters are all clearly outside of the jurisdiction of the Committee on Natural Resources, and its subcommittee per the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives,” he added.
Gohmert also noted that wildlife conservation and modernizing the Endangered Species Act are within the jurisdiction of the committee, not climate change. The latter, Gohmert added, should be deliberated in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Below are his full remarks leading up to adjournment.
Republicans recently ceded control of the committee to Democrats after their party flipped back the House last November.
It should be noted the new Natural Resources Chairman, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), is not a friend to hunters and sportsmen—having received 95% and 100% ratings from the Humane Society of the United States and high marks from the League of Conservation Voters.
This certainly explains why the committee is pursuing issues outside of their jurisdiction this congressional session.
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