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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump administration grants funding extension for Texas testing sites Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down GOP lawmakers join social media app billed as alternative to Big Tech 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 MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary 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 PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Livestreaming service Twitch suspends Trump account | Reddit updates hate speech policy, bans subreddits including The_Donald | India bans TikTok Senators move to boost state and local cybersecurity as part of annual defense bill Democrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate MORE (D-Mich.) said. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell: Trump shouldn't veto defense bill over renaming Confederate bases Senate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties GOP skeptical of polling on Trump 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 SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators push to limit transfer of military-grade equipment to police Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology MORE (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.