It would be nice if a time-traveler told us that some day May 4 will be remembered not as the day Obamacare began to be dismantled but the day Congress committed to taking on climate change – and doing it with a carbon tax.
As we know, the House voted today to pass a Republican bill that strips away essential features of the Affordable Care Act. The CBO had no time to score the bill; some Members (all Republicans) who voted for it evidently hadn’t read it.
If the Senate votes the same way, an estimated 24 million people and their families will suffer, some of them grievously, so that multimillionaires can pay less taxes and enforce their ideology that casts need as a moral failing rather than an opportunity (or, at least, obligation).
This tweet speaks for a lot of people:
Congress is drinking beers in the Capitol and celebrating at the White House. I'm getting texts like this from my family. Fuck all of you. pic.twitter.com/Mo5nuWatlC
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) May 4, 2017
Yet also today, Thursday, a dozen Members of Congress, six from each party, introduced a climate study bill, one that “would create a commission to look for economically viable solutions to climate change,” as reported by Inside Climate News.
Yes, a measly study bill. But one that would create a bipartisan National Climate Solutions Commission directing the Government Accountability Office to survey and rank emission reduction policies. The eventual report, which would likely ratify a national carbon tax of some sort, could offer GOP denialists a way out of their obstructionism.
An identical bill, also called the Climate Solutions Commission Act, failed to pass in 2016. Nevertheless, Inside Climate News said that today’s bill introduction “reflects how a small but increasingly vocal group of Republicans is embracing the reality of climate change and pressing the issue in Congress.”
It’s hard to gauge whether and how much Republicans will ever come around on climate. Nor can we say just how many members who voted today for the GOP’s health care” bill will be drummed out of Congress next year, as Washington Post political blogger Paul Waldman demanded just hours after the 217-213 vote. What we do know is that millions of us are working on defending and trying to extend social and economic and racial justice, including affordable health care, and also organizing for climate.
The May 4 health care vote may prove to be a right-wing Waterloo. And, just possibly, the re-introduction today of the Climate Solutions Commission Act may start the ball rolling for a carbon tax that helps save the climate.
And this just in from ICN reporter Sabrina Shankman: the 12 bill sponsors are Representatives John Delaney (D-MD) and John J. Faso (R-NY), who introduced it, and Reps. Curbelo (R-FL), Deutch (D-FL), Meehan (R-PA), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Lowenthal (D-CA), Peters (D-CA), Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Schneider (D-IL), Stefanik (R-NY) and Suozzi (D-NY). Representatives Faso, Curbelo, Meehan, and Stefanik also signed the 2017 House G.O.P. Climate Resolution linked to directly above.