Sep 30, 2019

Democrats hint at 2021 climate change bill if they win Senate

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said a sweeping climate bill would be "one of the first things we put on the floor" if Democrats gain the majority in the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Political windows for major bills open rarely. The comments on a press call Friday sound like a commitment to spend political capital on climate if given the chance.

Flashback: One reason (but hardly the only!) that climate legislation collapsed when Democrats controlled Washington in 2009–2010 is that huge health care and financial reform bills were higher Senate priorities.

But, but, but: Using the phrase "one of the first things" leaves wiggle room. An aide declined to say whether that would mean votes in 2021 specifically.

  • Plus, moving a climate bill assumes Democrats regain the Senate (a huge uphill climb), win the White House and keep the House.
  • Schumer hasn't said whether he'd seek to end the filibuster. That matters because even if Democrats win the Senate, there's no pathway to a super-majority.

Go deeper: Senate Democrats allege Trump administration has buried 1,400+ climate studies

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Senate Democrats plan to force vote on Trump's power plant emissions rule

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Democrats intend to force a roll call vote next week on EPA regulations that scrapped Obama-era carbon emissions rules for power plants and replaced them with a more modest alternative.

Why it matters: Floor votes on global warming are rare, and the bid to scuttle the Trump administration rule signals Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) increasing emphasis on the topic.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

Schumer unveils electric car plan he'll push if Dems take Senate

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. on Oct. 23, 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer said new plans to speed the transition to electric cars will be a pillar of wider climate legislation he'll propose if Democrats gain a majority in the 2020 elections.

Why it matters: The proposal unveiled in a New York Times op-ed on Thursday provides a look at major climate measures Schumer will promote if his party takes control of the chamber (which is an uphill battle).

Go deeperArrowOct 25, 2019

Not a hoax or an emergency: What swing voters think of climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Swing voters in three of America’s top battleground states say climate change is a concern, but not an urgent crisis.

The big picture: The results of focus groups in Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin suggest that some of America’s swing voters have views on climate change that are in between Democratic presidential candidates, who think it’s a crisis, and President Trump, who dismisses it altogether.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019