Schumer: ‘The Terrible Kinds of Disaster--Flooding, Tornadoes, and Wildfires--We Have Had Will Continue’

By Staff | March 28, 2019 | 8:14pm EDT
(Getty Images/Alex Wong)

( - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) warned on the Senate floor on Wednesday after the chamber voted on the Green New Deal that manmade climate change was real and that “flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires” would continue.

“Temperatures will still go up. The oceans will still rise,” Schumer said. “The terrible kinds of disaster--flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires--that we have had will continue.”

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a motion to bring Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal up for a vote, which would require getting 60 senators to agree to cloture. Fifty-seven members—including 54 Republicans and 3 Democrats—voted to block the vote on the Green New Deal.

Rather than vote in favor of having a vote on the Green New Deal, 43 members—all Democrats—voted “present.”

Schumer then gave a speech saying that “McConnell’s stunt” had “boomeranged on him.” He also applauded McConnell for telling reporters later that he believed that manmade climate change was in fact taking place.

Here is an excerpt of what Schumer said:

“McConnell's stunt, again, boomeranged on him and his colleagues, and they finally had to discuss this issue rather than do what they have liked to do for the last 5 years and sweep it under the rug.

Yesterday, the day before, today, and continuing in the future, we ask our Republican colleagues three simple questions to which they owe an answer to their constituents. First, do you believe climate change is real? Second, do you believe climate change is caused by human activity? And third, do you believe Congress has to act immediately to deal with this problem?

We are finally getting some answers, thanks to McConnell's trick that he eventually played on himself. No less than Leader McConnell was asked by the press yesterday afternoon at his Ohio Clock press camp if he believes in climate change, and he said he believes it is real and he believes it is caused by human activity. Well, there is one more step if you believe all that: What is your answer--not what you are against but what you are for?

I want to commend Senators Roberts, Alexander, and Murkowski. They came to the floor and stated unequivocally and clearly that climate change is real and caused by humans. Make no mistake, in this glacial atmosphere controlled by the Republicans, when it comes to climate change, this is real progress, but, of course, it is not close to enough.

As to the third question, Leader McConnell offered no solution. All we got was a sham vote that he voted against. So I ask Leader McConnell: What is your plan? Some Republicans now seem to admit the challenges of climate change. OK, that is good. Now, what is your solution?

Turning the Senate floor into a campaign ad studio is not a solution to climate change, nor is it very effective even for their own purposes. Several Senators seemed to suggest that this problem can simply be solved by funding for more research. I support funding for research. It should be part of any climate plan. Yet I say to my friends--particularly, those from coal States--that is not going to solve the problem. Dealing with coal sequestration and coal technology will, at best, solve 1 percent of the problem. So I say to my friends:

What about the other 99 percent, because 1 percent isn't enough? Temperatures will still go up. The oceans will still rise. The terrible kinds of disaster--flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires--that we have had will continue. To simply say that you are doing some research into how to deal with coal is not close to solving the problem. …

I am glad that finally, though--this is the good news here--some of my colleagues are starting to see the light and admit that it is real and admit that it is caused by human activity. Now, they need to put their money where their mouth is and work with us to take action that matches the scale of the problem.



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