Nearly 40 Democratic senators call for climate change questions in debates
Almost 40 Democratic senators wrote to the Commission on Presidential Debates on Wednesday urging questions focused on climate change to be included in the presidential debates.
Their letter comes a day after the announcement of the first debate topics, which did not include climate change or other energy or environmental issues. The six topics that will be covered in the first debate, slated to take place Tuesday, are Trump’s and Biden’s records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, “race and violence in our cities,” and election integrity.
The event will be moderated by Fox News’s Chris Wallace, who gets to choose his questions.
While it’s not explicitly listed, climate change could come up as part of another topic, such as the candidates’ records.
The new letter from lawmakers did not single out the first debate, its themes or Wallace. Instead, it urged the commission to “publicly call on the moderators to include climate in the topics that will be addressed during the debates.”
“With the potential for tens of millions of people to once again tune in this September and October, it is critical that every debate includes questions that ask the candidates what they would do to address climate change and environmental injustice. Without these topics, any discussion on the economy, racial justice, public health, national security, democracy, or infrastructure would be incomplete,” the lawmakers wrote.
Their urging comes after many progressives unsuccessfully pushed for there to be an entire debate focused on climate change during the Democratic primary.
The senators’ letter follows a letter signed by 70 House members making a similar request of the commission.
Next month, Biden and Trump are set to debate twice more, while Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, will hold their sole debate on Oct. 7.