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Climate Bill’s Apparent Failure Leaves Supporters Frustrated

Chris Lehman

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said Tuesday that even if Republicans returned to the Capitol, there still would not be enough votes to pass a massive cap-and-trade bill.

The announcement came amid an ongoing walkout by Senate Republicans, who left the state in order to deny majority Democrats a quorum. The news of the bill’s apparent failure stunned supporters of the measure who had gathered on the front steps of the Capitol to urge its passage.

Debby Garman of Hillsboro said lawmakers should hold a vote on the bill, even if it means the measure would fail. “If their constituents are pressuring them to vote it down, then show up and do the darn work they’re supposed to do,” she said.

Some Democratic lawmakers addressed the crowd and urged them not to give up on their years-long attempts to get the bill passed. By the end of Wednesday, Republican Senators still had not returned to the Capitol. The legislative session has to wrap up by the end of the day Sunday.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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