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A bipartisan House caucus on climate change has added six new members, bringing its total to 84, nearly 20% of the House of Representatives.

The big picture: The caucus, whose stated mission acknowledges climate change and works to address it, has grown significantly under President Trump, whose administration mostly dismisses climate change as an issue. Of the 84 members, 70 have joined since Trump's election.

Details: It’s a “Noah’s Ark” caucus, meaning members must join in bipartisan pairs.

New members:

  1. Bill Posey (R.-Fla.)
  2. Bobby Scott (D.-Va.)
  3. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)
  4. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)
  5. Brett Guthrie (R.-Ky.)
  6. John Yarmuth (D.-Ky.)

Between the lines: Critics say the caucus is mostly an empty effort giving political cover to Republicans without pushing substantive policies. That overlooks a significant, albeit subtle, shift in Washington’s gridlock in this space: the sheer fact Republicans see a need or desire to join an effort supporting, not opposing, climate change. That’s notable given the party as a whole has dismissed or denied outright mainstream climate science for most of the past decade.

For the record, spokespeople for the first four member offices confirmed. The latter two, revealed Friday morning, were confirmed by a spokesman for Rep. Ted Deutch (D.-Fla.), one of the co-founders of the caucus.

What we're hearing: Danny Richter, VP for government affairs at Citizens' Climate Lobby, an advocacy group supporting the caucus, said Republicans are joining the policy group because their constituents are asking them. "It's up to those constituents to help them grab the next rung, which is to sponsor meaningful legislation," Richter said.

This story has been updated to reflect that two additional members joined the caucus on Friday.

Go deeper

Ohio sues Biden admin over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Monday over a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that President Biden overturned earlier this month.

The big picture: The lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures included in the 2019 legislation that required federally funded family planning clinics to be "financially independent of abortion clinics," and refrain from referring patients for abortions.

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks abortion restrictions

A pro-choice activist demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Why it matters: The laws would place new limits on medication-induced abortions and require doctors who perform abortions to attain board certification in obstetrics and gynecology.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.