House Republicans scuttled a climate change hearing Tuesday before it began after too few Democrats showed up to contest adjournment.
The House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations adjourned the hearing after Republicans secured a majority of votes. Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas excused the members after determining the subject matter of the hearing was outside of committee jurisdiction.
“Based on the title of today’s hearings, it seems the majority is focused on science and public health issues, which are great. We just don’t have that jurisdiction,” Gohmert said, noting the hearing was the seventh the Oversight Committee held on climate change in February.
“It can be inferred from the hearing’s title that there is industry denial about climate change. It appears today’s title is well within our committee’s jurisdiction. I move that we adjourn,” he added.
Democrats were outvoted 4-2, with several members of the majority party missing from the House Committee. Those who were present bickered briefly over whether the hearing could be adjourned.
Reps. TJ Cox of California and Debbie Dingell of Michigan were the only two Democrats to vote against dismissal. The hearing was titled “The Denial Playbook: How Industries Manipulate Science and Policy from Climate Change to Public Health” and included an eclectic variety of witnesses.
One witness was retired NFL player Chris Borland, who retired from the San Francisco 49ers after sustaining several concussions. He was there to discuss the dangers of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurological condition football players sometimes experience after repeated blows to the head.
Conservatives were surprised by the lack of Democratic attendance.
“This is classic Democrat behavior,” Rachel Bovard, a policy director at the Conservative Policy Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“They introduce sweeping resolutions and then don’t want to vote on them,” she said. “They shame everyone for using fossil fuels while jetting around in Suburbans and private planes. And now, when faced with an opportunity to actually engage in a substantive policy discussion on the issue, they can’t be bothered to even show up.”
Democrats have been pushing the climate change narrative hard leading up to the 2020 election. Three Democratic 2020 presidential candidates gave a preview of how aggressively they will push global warming policies on the campaign trail during Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation hearing to be President Donald Trump’s EPA administrator.
Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Bernie Sanders of Vermont sparred with Wheeler over the urgency of global warming and rolling back Obama-era regulations.
“You are the nominee to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency and you just in your opening statement did not mention the word climate change,” Sanders said during the hearing.