House Republicans want world leaders to take them seriously on climate change when they say they don’t think the planet is warming. But they don’t want any questions about their belief.
House Republicans have asked world leaders for evidence that the planet is warming, but they’ve been met with silence. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hasn’t heard any of the president’s arguments that the planet is inching closer to disastrous warming. And the Republican members of the Energy and Commerce Committee haven’t heard from the committee chairman, Tom Price (R-Ga.), who is expected to lead the EPA.
The committee could have its answers about climate change on April 17, when Price will testify before the committee and answer questions about his agency’s regulatory efforts to address climate change.
But it’s not clear that his appearance is required. Republicans can ask him about climate change, and the speaker is expected to attend, as well as the full House. Still, that won’t allow Price to talk about the issue on the record in full. And it’s not clear that the other members of the Energy and Commerce Committee are eager to have questions about the agency’s work on global warming.
“I think they’ll be glad to get an answer, to at least have that information,” a GOP committee aide told Vox. “But they don’t want us to have a record of the committee hearing about what Price is going to say, because then they can say we didn’t have a hearing.”
The committee is considering a provision that would limit which questions committee members can ask Price. In the past, GOP lawmakers have tried to prevent committee chairs from being asked about their views on climate change, arguing that the speaker wouldn’t have the authority to override the committee chairman. But Republicans are now pushing the House to repeal that rule.
Price’s appearance has the potential to be a turning point in the committee’s climate change work. It would be the first time Price has testified openly about his agency’s climate change work while he chairs the committee, potentially setting the stage for a major climate-related debate in the House.
The committee is considering a provision that would limit which questions committee members could ask Price over the course of the full year.