House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill

GOP lawmakers are crying foul this week over a push by Democrats to quickly advance climate change legislation through committee so that it's ready for a House floor vote.

Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are opposing the markup of a bill introduced last week by Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorEnvironmentalists see victory with Green New Deal blitz Dem lawmaker offers tool for 'filling in the blanks' of Green New Deal Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog issues rare 'alert' on toxic substances data | Trump to announce new orders to speed up pipeline permits | New Keystone XL pipeline permit challenged in court | Congress approves seven-state drought bill MORE (D-Fla.) that would bind the Trump administration to uphold the climate goals agreed to in the Paris climate accord under former President Obama.

GOP lawmakers say Democrats leapfrogged a subcommittee markup and a hearing for the measure, H.R. 9, to expedite its approval.

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“It’s unfortunate your subcommittee missed out on an opportunity to mark up that measure. That would be the regular order that you’re proud of and that I’m proud of,” said Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenConservative groups defend tech from GOP crackdown Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders unveils new Medicare for all bill with backing from other 2020 Dems | White House slams Sanders' rollout | Drugmakers, 'middlemen' point fingers on insulin pricing House votes to reinstate Obama-era net neutrality rules MORE (Ore.), the top Republican on the committee, at a hearing Tuesday. “Instead it’s going to be taken straight to full committee and straight to the floor to meet some arbitrary deadline.”

The panel is expected to vote on the measure as early as Wednesday evening.

Some Republicans argue there should have been a hearing on Castor's bill before lawmakers vote on it.

“No hearings on Green New Deal. No hearings on H.R. 9. For what many on the other side consider to be the biggest existential threat to our existence, they seem very comfortable abandoning the legislative process and ignoring input from all involved and impacted,” said a senior House Republican aide.

Castor, who heads the House’s new Select Committee on Climate Crisis, said when she introduced the bill that Congress has “a moral obligation” to tackle climate change, framing the legislation as the first step in a much broader Democratic effort to address the global crisis.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneAnti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age Overnight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group House Democrats probe Trump administration's funding of anti-abortion group MORE (D-N.J.) brushed off Republican complaints Tuesday, saying the House had already held a hearing on the Paris climate agreement and therefore didn’t need another hearing on the topic focused on the bill.

In an attempt to influence the timing of a vote on Castor's bill, Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresOvernight Energy: GOP lawmaker parodies Green New Deal in new bill | House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill | Park Service chief grilled over shutdown House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill Seven Republicans vote against naming post office after ex-Rep. Louise Slaughter MORE (R-Texas) offered a last-minute amendment Tuesday night that would substitute the legislative text with the entire Green New Deal resolution.

He also criticized how quickly H.R. 9 was getting a committee vote.

"The committees have been bypassed. They are bringing messaging bills to the floor and that's all they are. They are written by the Democratic leadership and they don't reflect the views of their members," Flores said.

Neither Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) nor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezVA 'ain't broke' — but it can certainly be improved The Memo: GOP banks on Biden falling in primary Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.) have called for a vote on the Green New Deal in the House, with each suggesting Democrats are shifting their focus on climate change.

That focus includes the Climate Action Now Act from Castor.

Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoAre 23 horse deaths enough to clean up the racing industry? Overnight Energy: Bernhardt confirmed as Interior chief | Dems probing if EPA officials broke ethics rules | Senators offer bipartisan carbon capture bill Dems probing whether EPA officials violated ethics rules MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, told reporters that swift action is needed.

“We have not visited this issue in 10 years, so I think there’s a need for us to be somewhat robust in our attempts to get the ball rolling on climate response, climate science,” Tonko said.

“No one expected the kind of outcome with the renewable situation, very affordable. No one expected that innovation would come in that rapidly. And the economy is stronger, so there's reasons to support moving fast," he added. "We lost a decade, so, you know, the attempt here is to go at kind of an aggressive pace.”