Oregon Democrat Senators Fold Under Pressure After GOP Walkout On Climate Bill

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Oregon Senate Democrats announced Tuesday they don’t have the votes now for the cap-and-trade bill that GOP lawmakers fled from six days ago.

Peter Courtney, president of the Oregon Senate Democrats, announced on the floor Tuesday he no longer has the votes to pass HB2020, the cap-and-trade climate bill that Republicans walked out of the capitol building six days ago to block. (RELATED: Oregon GOP Lawmakers Stay On The Lam)

“House Bill 2020 does not have the votes on the Senate floor,” Courtney told Democratic senators who had gathered for roll-call, according to KGW8. “That will not change.”

The announcement, caught on cell phone video, is a victory for GOP senators who left the chambers June 20 and have stayed away since, despite having the state police sent after them and being fined $500 per day each, CBS reported(RELATED: Republican Oregon State Senators Flee The State To Avoid Vote. The Governor Sends State Police To Find Them)

The 11-member Republican walkout has kept the Senate from conducting business with two senators short of the necessary quorum of 20. The legislative session ends Sunday, June 30.

HB2020 establishes a state limit on greenhouse gas emissions and sets up an auction system for pollution “allowances.” Republicans argue the plan dramatically raises operating costs for specific industries and believe it should go to the voters before it becomes policy.

The senators have reportedly been in Idaho, but the exact locations of all rogue senators has been unknown.

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