While her Republican counterparts in the Senate make good on their walkout threats over the state’s latest cap and trade proposal, House Republican Leader and Canby’s State Representative Christine Drazan this morning led her own caucus from the State Capitol over their opposition to what she calls “this bad bill” — and the allegedly partisan process that created it.
In a post to her political Facebook this week (which was actually posted the day before the walkout but gained much traction afterward, being shared over 800 times as of this writing), she said this bill “doubles down” on the “abuse of power” by the Democrats’ legislative supermajority, which has failed to advance needed budget bills or other measures that have bipartisan support.
“They are treating this session like it is the launch of their campaigns, rather than an opportunity to approve budgets, adopt technical fixes and pass consensus legislation,” she said. “We have 35 short days to do the people’s work, and instead of working together on the many issues that have strong bipartisan support, they are determined to marginalize and ignore working Oregonians.”
The cap and trade bill, a revised version of last year’s climate proposal (which died in the aftermath of another Republican walkout), would change the way the state regulates greenhouse gas emissions and require carbon-producing businesses to purchase pollution credits. Over time, the state would decrease the number of credits available, thereby lowering the level of emissions allowed.
The first-term lawmaker’s growing frustration with the process has become increasingly obvious, something she also discussed during an appearance on the Canby Now Podcast last year, following a longer session working with the same supermajority.
“I continue to engage, voice my concerns and fight for a fair process. But Democrats have made it clear they don’t want our input on climate, they want our presence to facilitate their agenda,” she said this week. “They don’t want the value of our voices, they want to make deals with special interests and push this legislation through regardless of constitutional concerns — despite the fact it is dogged by bipartisan opposition.”
On Saturday, Rep. Drazan moved an amendment to the House’s version of the cap and trade bill that would have referred the measure to a vote. It was voted down along party lines.
While the Republican senators’ walkout on Monday leaves the future of pending bills and other matters in jeopardy, Drazan (and others) place the blame on the Democrats, whom they feel left them no other choice.
“My colleagues across the aisle are abusing the short session with rigged votes and an artificial process,” she said. “Professional nonpartisan staff is muzzled, legislative scrutiny is all but absent.”
“I am tired of hearing we won’t know the impact till it is passed. The abuse of power is rampant. Oregonians deserve to have the final word on this dirty deal.”
On Tuessday morning, Rep. Drazan released a statement that was also critical of Gov. Kate Brown, accusing her and Democrats in both chambers for “repeatedly refus(ing) to compromise.”
“Unfortunately, our attempts to achieve a bipartisan consensus that would take into account the views of all Oregonians were denied,” she said. “Oregon House Republicans are taking a stand, with working families, in opposing cap and trade and this rigged process.”
Later that day, Oregon House Democrats responded in a statement purportedly “fact-checking” Drazan, and disputing her characterization of cap and trade and its legislative process.
Hear more from Rep. Christine Drazan discussing last year’s trip through the legislative process on “Episode 104: A Memorable First Session”:
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