Members petition DNC chairman to hold presidential debate on climate change

Members petition DNC chairman to hold presidential debate on climate change

More than 50 members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are reportedly asking Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE to hold a presidential debate on climate change after the governing body rejected repeated requests from Democratic presidential hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleePoll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Poll: Biden leads Sanders by 22 points Debunking Democrats' claims about fossil fuel tax breaks MORE to host one. 

According to HuffPost, the petition's signatories plan to collect more signatures before submitting the resolution for official consideration at a DNC meeting later this month.

The outlet notes that Perez can reject the request, which aims to put pressure on the DNC over the issue.

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"The first several DNC Presidential Debates should be focused on Climate Change issues and solutions," the resolution says, according to HuffPost. The letter also calls for Democratic candidates to be permitted to debate climate change through other forums if the DNC chooses not to sponsor a debate.

The Hill has reached out to the DNC for comment. 

The resolution comes after Inslee, a longshot presidential candidate who's focused his campaign on the issue of climate change, announced that the DNC had turned down his requests to host a climate-focused debate. 

"Today, my team received a call from the Democratic National Committee letting us know that they will not host a climate debate. Further, they explained that if we participated in anyone else's climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates," Inslee said in a statement.

"This is deeply disappointing. The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many of our progressive partner organizations, and nearly half of the Democratic presidential field, who want to debate the existential crisis of our time. Democratic voters say that climate change is their top issue; the Democratic National Committee must listen to the grassroots of the party," Inslee added.

Progressive groups like Daily Kos, the Sunrise Movement and MoveOn have all joined Inslee in calling for the debate, as did fellow 2020 candidates Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Warren introduces universal child care legislation MORE (D-Mass.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).

“Our generation’s survival is at stake. It’s time for the DNC to act like it and host a climate debate,” the Sunrise Movement tweeted.

“Gov. Inslee is exactly right. Climate change is the biggest challenge we face. Every candidate running for president should have a serious set of policies to address it, and should be eager to defend those proposals in a debate,” Warren wrote on Twitter.

Inslee later called on the rest of the Democratic field to join in the calls.

According to HuffPost, the signers collectively make up more than 10 percent of the DNC's voting membership. Signatories include the chairpersons of state parties in California, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, Vermont, Utah, Idaho, Maine, Montana and Nebraska, the outlet reported.

California Democratic National Committee member Christine Pelosi, the daughter of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slated to deliver remarks during panel hearing on poverty The DNC's climate problems run deep Cracks form in Democratic dam against impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), has signed the resolution, according to HuffPost.