Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem. Photo: Jordan McAlister/Getty Images

Oregon's Senate president said Tuesday that a landmark climate bill to enact carbon capping is dead after Republicans fled the state to avoid a vote, according to The Oregonian.

Catch up quick: The Democrat-controlled state Senate backed a bill to imp0se capping regulations on carbon emissions. As the bill neared a vote, Republicans left the state Capitol last week to stall the measure. However, with a June 30 deadline for Oregon's legislative session, all other legislation was halted by Republicans' absence, leaving Democrats with the choice of sticking to their climate efforts or pursuing the remainder of their agenda.

On Tuesday, the state Senate's President Peter Courtney told colleagues that House Bill 2020 would not have enough votes and, "That will not change,” per The Oregonian, and Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, later scolded Republicans for their avoidance of the vote.

“Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that provides a better future for our state and for our children, and the tactics they employed to do so are not just unacceptable, but dangerous,”
— Gov. Kate Brown said

The intrigue: Even amid the GOP walkout and 2 Democrats voting against it, the bill passed the House last week. In the Senate, Democrats required votes from 16 of the 18-member caucus to pass it and it was unclear whether they had the votes.

Why it matters: With President Trump repealing federal climate policy, climate activists have turned to state governments in an attempt to enact incremental change. Some state measures have seen success, as New York state's Democrat-controlled legislature approved a sweeping climate bill just last week that requires requires an 85% cut in emissions by 2050 and a goal of offsetting the remaining 15% to achieve "net-zero" by then.

  • But the Oregon bill's demise is a setback.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Amy Harder: If it’s true the bill didn’t even have enough Democrat support, it’s the latest evidence that big climate policy doesn’t necessarily have broad approval within a party that generally espouses action on climate change (to say nothing of the Republicans fleeing the state to avoid voting on it).

Go deeper: 2020 Democrats fight for progressive cred on climate change

Go deeper

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.