U.S. House of Representatives

The New Speaker Nominee and the Environment –Whoops, Never Mind!

Who is Tom Emmer and what are his environmental views?

[First posted at 10:18, revised at 2:10] The revolving door for Republican GOP nominees continues. Tom Emmer, who was briefly the [ newly picked] Republican nominee for Speaker of the House on Tuesday, is a relative unknown despite having been part of the House Republicans’ leadership team. Emmer, who grew up in an affluent suburb of …


Who the Heck is Patrick McHenry?

And what does he think about the environment?

Patrick McHenry has been Speaker pro tem with limited powers, but there’s talk about trying to bump him up, giving him full power as Speaker for a limited time so the House can get back to work. That might be just a flash in the pan, but he turns out to be interesting enough to …


Single Subject = Single Stupidity

New House Rule Designed To Cause Dysfunction

The House Rules package passed last night is potentially a disaster: it seems specifically created to make it impossible for the federal government to pay its debts, although there are (second-best) ways around it that President Biden will undoubtedly use. One provision, though, seems common-sensical: each bill must have a “single subject.” No more massive …


California House Races and the Environment

Control of the House isn’t in play, but some California seats are up for grabs.

Control of the U.S. House doesn’t seem to be in play this year, but there are a lot of individual districts across the country that could flip.  Cook Political lists 28 toss-up races and another 28 that lean one way or the other but are still competitive.  Obviously, I’m not going to try to talk …


HR 9: The First Climate Bill to Pass the House In a Decade

What you need to know about the bill.

Last Thursday, for the first time in a decade, the House of Representatives passed a climate change bill.  HR 9, the Climate Action Now Act, passed on a vote of 231-190. The heart of HR 9 is section 3, which blocks the use of any federal funds to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.  Section 4 …


Climate Change in the Political Spotlight

Climate change has been a low-visibility political issue. That may be changing.

Generally, climate change doesn’t get much attention as a political issue. That may be changing now. And if it is, that could have important implications. One sign of the times is Jay Inslee’s run for the Presidency. He may not be at the top of the lists of prospects, but he’s an established, well-respected political …


Is Protecting Public Health Now a Partisan Issue?

Congress’s failure to deal with the Zika threat is a symptom of a bigger problem.

Congress seems to be unable to come up with funding for an effort to combat the zika virus.  Instead, congressional leaders told the government to use existing funding, so it has been forced to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from fighting ebola. (You remember that Congress was completely frenzied about the risk of ebola in …



When it’s not busy passing yet another bill to repeal healthcare reform, the House of Representatives likes to pass an even more sweeping attack on effective government called REINS.  REINS is one of those bills that seems suspect from reading the title alone — it’s one of those gimmicky titles (“Regulations from the Executive in …


When Did “GOP” Start to Mean “Grand Old Polluters”?

I’m old enough to remember a time when environmental protection and public health were bipartisan values.  Even in the Reagan Administration, there were positive steps such as Reagan’s support for the international ozone treaty. As late as 1990, Republicans in the White House and Congress supported major new air pollution legislation.  Even George W. Bush …