FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2008
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
Senate Republicans Shutdown Senate
to Block Debate on Global Warming Bill
Minority Uses Shameful Procedural Tricks to Stop Debate
Washington, D.C.—After voting overwhelmingly on Monday evening to begin floor consideration of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, Senate Republicans used a series of procedural obstacles to block any actual debate on the underlying bi-partisan bill and any amendments that Senators of either party wished to offer. Then after forcing an additional 30 hours of debate on a procedural motion that they had already approved, Senate Republicans shutdown the Senate on Wednesday by forcing Senate clerks to read the entirety of the 491-page Boxer Substitute Amendment (S. 3036) and underlying bill aloud. Several Senators, including Senators Reid, Boxer, and Lieberman, attempted to dispense with the reading of the bill according to Senate custom, but were blocked by Republicans at each instance—even while an announcement of a tornado warning and severe storms in the Capital region was read over the public address system. Reading began shortly after lunch and is expected to continue until at least 9 p.m.
Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director
"Today is truly a sad day for the United States Senate. Senate Republicans have turned to the crudest of procedural games—forcing the clerks to read the entirety of the bill aloud—to block meaningful consideration of the first serious measure to combat global warming to come to the Senate floor. These Senators should be ashamed of themselves.
"Seeing that their campaign of lies and misinformation alone could not succeed in preventing a debate on this crucial issue, Senate Republicans have instead turned to one procedural trick after another to prevent this bill from being debated. If the Senate should fail to act on this bill, it is abundantly clear that the Republican Leadership alone will be to blame.
"It’s time for solutions, not stalling. While the Senate leadership has proposed real relief for consumers suffering from skyrocketing energy costs, unfortunately Senate Republicans have nothing to offer but reading and roadblocks."
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