Dems slam Cruz for stacking hearing with climate change 'deniers'

Dems slam Cruz for stacking hearing with climate change 'deniers'
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats preemptively slammed Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzGOP senator: Leadership trying to 'jam' through healthcare bill This week: Senate races toward ObamaCare repeal vote McConnell allies confident in healthcare win MORE’s (R-Texas) Tuesday hearing on climate change research, saying it shows Republicans are out of touch with science. 

The Democrats said that with nearly all scientists in agreement on the underlying science behind climate change, it's time for the presidential hopeful and other Republicans to get on board.

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"The only thing that requires a thorough scientific investigation is why Sen. Cruz is having a hearing on climate science,” Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Dem senator: Trump 'doesn't respect' the presidency Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (D-Mass.) said during a press conference before the hearing. 

“This is no longer debate across the entire planet. They’re all there. The last group of deniers are the Republican Congress. The last sub-cult of deniers are the Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee.” That panel's science subcommittee will host Cruz's hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The event — titled “Data or Dogma?” — will look at “the ongoing debate over climate science, the impact of federal funding on the objectivity of climate research, and the ways in which political pressure can suppress opposing viewpoints in the field of climate science” according to the committee.

Republicans have called four witnesses whom Democrats deem climate science "deniers." They said their witness, a retired rear admiral in the Navy and former federal meteorologist, will make the case that you don’t need complete scientific consensus to move forward on climate issues.

“Intelligence is never 100 percent, science is never 100 percent, but if commanders have the type of certainty that we have on climate change, there would be no hesitation on the part of those military commanders to begin operations,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneWeek ahead in tech: Lawmakers turn focus to self-driving cars Senate panel unveils aviation bill with consumer protections, drone fix Four Senate conservatives say they oppose ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, defended the hearing on Tuesday.

“Obviously, it’s an issue that’s going to be really important in the future,”  he said. “I think that our committee has jurisdiction over parts of that issue, and we expect that we’ll probably have more discussion of it in the future. This is certainly a first step.”

Across the Atlantic, United Nations negotiators are meeting in Paris for work on an international climate change pact. 

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said the hearing could hurt American efforts there to reach a climate deal.

“Just as America finally reclaimed the moral and political high ground when it comes to climate, moving into the COP21 Paris climate talks, Ted Cruz is attempting to undermine America’s leadership on this issue,” he said.