House defeats amendment to strip climate study from Defense bill

House defeats amendment to strip climate study from Defense bill
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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 PerryHouse Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 House passes bill expressing support for NATO McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader 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.

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“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 StefanikGOP announces members who will serve on House intel panel Bipartisan House group introduces bills to stall Syria, South Korea troop withdrawals House votes on 10th bill to reopen government MORE (R-N.Y.) and Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenComstock joins K Street firm Yoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm 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.”