Energy

Democrats Worry Border Wall Battle Is Distracting From Their Climate Agenda

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Chris White Tech Reporter

House Democrats are concerned that President Donald Trump’s fight for wall funding and the government shutdown is derailing their attempts to target the administration’s climate agenda, Politico reported Thursday.

Nearly a dozen Democrats admit that dealing with the partial shutdown is distracting from their ultimate objective: wrapping the administration in probes and resuscitating a wayward climate push. Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko of New York, for instance, believes a lot of unfinished business is being placed on the back burner.

“It’s holding back everything and it’s terrible because there’s lot of unfinished business and a lot of important work to do,” Tonko, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, told reporters. “The shutdown is causing that disruption.”

Boys play around, climbing the border division between Mexico and the US in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on January 26, 2017. US President Donald Trump on Thursday told Mexico's president to cancel an upcoming visit to Washington if he is unwilling to foot the bill for a border wall. Escalating a cross border war of words, Trump took to Twitter to publicly upbraid Enrique Pena Nieto. "If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting." / AFP / HERIKA MARTINEZ (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Boys play around, climbing the border division between Mexico and the U.S. in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Jan. 26, 2017. (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey backed away from a plan to place climate change front and center. (RELATED: Here’s Exactly What Trump Wants For The Border)

“I had previously announced our first three hearings never believing that this shutdown would still be going on when this Committee had a chance to organize,” the Democratic congressman said in a statement. “Those critical hearings on climate change, the future of the Affordable Care Act and oversight of the Trump Administration’s inhumane Family Separation Policy will still occur, but they will not be next week.”

Democrats are itching to jump on board the so-called Green New Deal (GND). More than 40 Democratic lawmakers support the GND, a broad plan to tackle climate change and build green jobs. It remains to be seen what role a prolonged shutdown will have on the deal.

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