– Last night, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, offered a motion on the Senate floor requiring conferees of the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) to emphasize the president cannot use climate change as a basis for declaring an “emergency” or “national disaster” or invoke the Defense Production Act in order to expand executive power under existing laws. The motion passed by a bipartisan vote of 49-47.

Below is the floor speech of Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Mister President,

“This motion to instruct emphasizes climate change cannot be used as a basis for the president to declare an ‘emergency’ or ‘major disaster’ or use other means to expand executive powers.

“In the last two weeks, progressives in Congress have renewed their push for the president to claim powers he doesn’t have and make it harder to produce energy domestically and export it abroad.

“This is bad policy and sets a bad precedent to encourage expansive executive authority.

“Now, of course, I think we should address climate, but ceding broad authority over to the executive is not the way to go.

“I’ve worked together with my colleagues on numerous pieces of meaningful climate legislation and continue to do so as the Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Work Committee. 

“When Congress wants to address climate—as we have in the past—it rolls up its sleeves and does it in a thoughtful, bipartisan way, through clear, detailed direction to the executive—not by giving the executive broad authority to do whatever it sees fit.

“Thank you. I encourage a positive vote on my motion to instruct.”


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