House defeats amendment to strip climate study from Defense bill

House defeats amendment to strip climate study from Defense bill
© Getty Images

The House defeated an amendment to a defense policy bill Thursday that would have blocked a Department of Defense study into the impacts of climate change on national security.

The amendment, from Rep. Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryMcCarthy courts conservatives in Speaker's bid 25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote Spending bill to strengthen background checks for gun purchases MORE (R-Pa.), would have stripped a National Defense Authorization Act provision that would have required a study into the 20-year impacts of climate change on the military.

Perry said his amendment was not meant to debate the existence of climate change, but rather, “my point is that this should not be the priority" for the military.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Literally, litanies of other federal agencies deal with environmental issues including climate change,” Perry said. “The federal mandate [in the bill] detracts from the central mission of securing our nation against enemies.”

The climate change study was included in the annual defense policy bill after a unanimous voice vote during a committee markup.

The House voted 185-234 to defeat Perry's amendment and keep the study in the bill.

Forty-six Republicans voted against Perry’s amendment. Two Republicans, Reps. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse Republicans prepare to battle for leadership slots Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign Young GOP lawmakers want more power MORE (R-N.Y.) and Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenAmong record number of female candidates, three times as many are Democrats as GOP Cuba set to pass power from Castro family Bipartisan group of lawmakers condemn anti-Semitic attacks on Parkland students MORE (R-Fla.), argued against it during floor debate earlier Thursday.

The effects of climate change “are drivers of geopolitical instability and degrade the security of the United States,” Stefanik said.

“We would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security to not fully account for the risk climate change poses to our bases, our readiness and to the fulfillment of our armed services mission.”