Oregon Republican Senators End Walkout Over Climate Change Bill
Nine of the 12 Republican senators have returned to the Oregon Senate Saturday morning, marking the end of a divisive walkout over a carbon-emissions bill, the Associated Press reports. The senators, who are the minority party in the chamber, returned once Senate President Peter Courtney said that Democrats lacked the votes required to pass the bill before the end of Oregon's legislative session Sunday. While the Democrats have an 18 to 12 majority in the senate, a bill needs 20 members to vote on legislation, therefore requiring at least two Republicans to side with them. Democrats said that the climate legislation was critical to make Oregon a leader in combatting climate change, but many Republicans feared that the bill would harm their rural constituents. The walkout began June 20, when Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state police to bring the GOP senators to the capitol, leading local militias to offer to fight off police. Many of the senators fled the state in response, leading to a stalemate over the bill for over a week.