Rex Tillerson's first public Capitol Hill testimony as secretary of State featured very little discussion of the Paris climate change accord, but that doesn't mean the appearance didn't yield any information.
Tillerson's candor: He didn't raise the topic in his prepared remarks to senators in a pair of hearings, but also didn't hide the fact that he was among the administration players on the losing side of the internal stay-or-go debate.
- "My view didn't change. My views were heard out. I respect that the president heard my views, but I respect the decision that he has taken," Tillerson told Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Ben Cardin in response to a question.
Cameo appearance: Cardin bashed the decision to abandon Paris, but overall the climate pact and the budget proposal to gut State climate initiatives scarcely surfaced over hours of testimony before the Foreign Relations panel and an Appropriations subcommittee.
Why it matters: It's another sign that climate change is not the tip of their Democrats' spear when it comes to taking on the Trump administration — they devoted far more time to Russia and other issues.
Democrats' strategy: When they did raise Paris, Democrats signaled that they're making it part of a broader political and policy critique of what they call the Trump administration's ill-conceived pullback from engagement with allies.
- Sen. Chris Murphy called it part of a "big step back" from U.S. leadership in general.
On tap today: Tillerson will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee this morning and a House Appropriations subcommittee in the afternoon.