House Republicans on Tuesday claimed a small victory over the Democrats’ climate change agenda by holding a rare successful vote as the minority to end an oversight hearing, saying that the subject of global warming was outside the committee’s jurisdiction.
The Republicans in the Natural Resources Committee’s oversight panel won in a 4-2 vote to end the hearing, simply because there weren’t more than two Democrats present.
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, the top Republican on the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, called for the vote after laying out the case that climate change was not within the jurisdiction of the committee, based on its charter and bylaws.
Gohmert called for a vote to adjourn following his opening remarks, and a roll call vote was held. Witnesses at the hearing were not introduced before the Republicans left the hearing room.
With the Republicans in adjournment, the Democrats were forced to change the proceedings from a hearing to a “forum,” which Rep. T.J. Cox of California, the chairman of the oversight panel, opened by introducing the speakers.
The full committee’s top Republican, Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, had raised the jurisdiction issues at the beginning of the month when the Democratic leadership launched its sweeping series of hearings on climate change. Bishop also said the Democrats were not properly giving notice to Republican members on the topics of the hearing.