environment

Cunningham, South Carolina fishermen see consensus on climate change
After talking to Charleston area fishermen Monday, Cunningham introduced a bill in Washington to require a GAO study

South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham, left, talks with constituent Taylor Tarvin, who owns a shrimp boat called Miss Paula that the congressman visited while discussing climate change on a tour with local fishermen in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Monday. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Nationally, climate change is still not a universally accepted science. But here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Rep. Joe Cunningham claims there’s bipartisan acknowledgement of global warming as a real and urgent issue.

The freshman Democrat spent Monday with a group of fishermen from his coastline district who have seen the impacts of climate change firsthand.

Democratic impeachment holdout touts legislative focus over inquiry he’s not backing
South Carolina’s Joe Cunningham spent recess discussing climate change, infrastructure, trade

South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham, here examining a turtle excluder device while touring a shrimp boat in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Monday, is one of seven House Democrats not supporting the impeachment inquiry. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rep. Joe Cunningham spent his final day of a two-week district work period here Monday talking to local fishermen about adjusting to climate change and to a conservation group about banning offshore drilling — top issues for constituents of his coastline district.

Cunningham, the first Democrat to represent the 1st District in more than a quarter century, did not talk about the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, except to answer reporters’ questions about why he has not endorsed it. The constituents he interacted with Monday did not broach the topic with him, although some complimented him generally for how he’s navigating a political tightrope.

Road Ahead: Turkey sanctions unite chambers; impeachment ramps up with Congress’ return
After a two-week recess, lawmakers return to a full plate

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to balance work on the impeachment inquiry with other priorities. Above, Pelosi with fellow California Democrat Adam B. Schiff, the House Intelligence chairman, on Oct. 2. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is returning from its two-week recess and although both chambers were expected to take up bipartisan proposals against President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, a Monday night executive order may change the calculation.

Opposition to the president’s move had united lawmakers despite the ongoing impeachment inquiry that has ratcheted up partisan divisions. Key congressional Republicans have slammed Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria, where the troops have been a shield for U.S.-allied Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group. But the announcement Monday night of an executive order slapping new sanctions on Turkey over its military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria has the support of South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Schumer says Democrats will force votes on climate policy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., says Democrats will use the Congressional Review Act to force votes on priority issues like climate change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats aim to force a floor vote on a Trump administration proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which replaced a significantly more stringent Obama-era regulation, according to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

The caucus will trigger a vote on the plan as part of a series of roll call votes that Democrats in the chamber plan to highlight bills and issues that they say Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are ignoring, Schumer said Thursday.

If Perry leaves Energy, his deputy seems likely to sustain his policies
Rumors of Perry's impending departure put Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette in spotlight

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is one of President Donald Trump's longest-serving Cabinet members. An Energy Department spokeswoman denied reports that he was planning to step down soon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The No. 2 man at the Energy Department is primed to carry on the agency’s “energy dominance” agenda should his boss, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, step down.

Perry is preparing to step down before the end of November, Politico and other media outlets reported Thursday, a decision that would end the service of one of President Donald Trump’s longest-lasting Cabinet secretaries. Perry’s departure would likely place Dan Brouillette, the deputy secretary, in charge of the Energy Department.

Supreme Court term to be punctuated by presidential politics
Docket ‘almost guarantees’ court shifting further and faster to the right, expert says

Activists hold up signs at an abortion-rights rally at Supreme Court in Washington to protest new state bans on abortion services on Tuesday May 21, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will confront ideological issues such as immigration and LGBT rights that have sharply divided Congress and the nation in a new term starting Monday that will bring more scrutiny to the justices during a heated presidential campaign season.

In many ways, the nine justices are still settling into a new internal dynamic with two President Donald Trump appointees in as many years. The court had few high-profile cases last term, amid the drama of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation that gripped the nation and solidified the court’s conservative ideological tilt.

How ‘resilience’ became a politically safe word for ‘climate change’
Both parties increasingly agree on investing in infrastructure upgrades to better withstand extreme weather

Water floods Highway 12 in Nags Head, N.C., as Hurricane Dorian hits the area on Sept. 6. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Climate change remains a deeply divisive term in some corners of Capitol Hill, but lawmakers from both parties are embracing the concept of “resilience” — building infrastructure engineered to better withstand devastating wind and floods associated with a warming planet.

The idea of building infrastructure better equipped to deal with natural disasters is appealing to fiscal conservatives who are loathe to keep spending taxpayer dollars rebuilding federal infrastructure just to see it destroyed again.

Photos of the Week: Impeachment is in the air, but first recess
The week of Sept. 27 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

A coalition of progressive activist groups, including MoveOn.org, hold a rally at the Capitol on Thursday, calling on Congress to impeach President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Swamp Rat in Congress

Rep. Josh Harder's stuffed nutria, Nellie, sits on a House Natural Resources Committee witness table (Photo Courtesy: Rep. Harder's Office)

Taxidermy is not a foreign object in the halls of Congress, but is a rare sight in committee hearing rooms. On Tuesday during a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife hearing, Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif., brought along a stuffed nutria, which he referred to as a “swamp rat.”

US ambassador with coal ties arrives as UN begins climate talks
Craft could mold process by which the U.S. gets out of the Paris climate agreement

Kelly Craft attends her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York for a climate change summit Monday, America’s new ambassador to the global body was focused on other business.

“Our warming earth is issuing a chilling cry: stop,” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in his opening remarks. Germany announced climate mitigation pledges. Pope Francis delivered a call to action in a video message. French President Emmanuel Macron praised young people for demanding political action to rein in emissions.