The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have been working for weeks on a bill to address climate change, and Republicans on the committee wanted to stop it. Their tactic? Not showing up. Republicans were aware of committee rules saying that no business could go forward unless two members of the opposite party were present. So, every day this week, they sent one member, who would make a perfunctory appearance, then leave.
With Republican boycotting the proceedings, Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) relied on a little used interpretation of committee rules to move the legislation. Traditionally, two minority members are required to conduct committee business.
Boxer said that she passed the bill “in full accordance with long-standing committee and Senate rules.”
“This is not a procedure we wanted; it’s a procedure that’s available to us,” said Boxer. “The majority has to be able to do its work…otherwise the whole Senate could come to a screeching halt.”
It won't be long before Republicans start to complain that climate legislation is going through without their input, etc., and waah waah waaah how unfair it is.
The thing about bipartisanship is that both parties — at a minimum — have to show up. Republicans can't complain now (or later) about how they were cut out of the loop when they themselves, on their own initiative, boycotted legislative procedure.