Democrats Worry Border Wall Battle Is Distracting From Their Climate Agenda

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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.”

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey backed away from a plan to place climate change front and center.

“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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