The Oregon State Capitol has become a flashpoint for conservative politicians rejecting out-of-control big government proposals from liberals in the Democrat-controlled state.
After Democrats pushed forward a highly controversial climate bill, every Republican senator fled the area in order to stop the bill from going forward without more discussion instead of casting what they knew would be a losing vote. Some of the senators even fled to the neighboring state of Idaho after the liberal Democratic governor Kate Brown sent the Oregon State Police after them.
It appears that the Republicans are planning to stay in hiding until the legislative session ends on June 30. Democrats have been trying to shame and coax them into coming back so they can move forward with their climate bill and vote on a number of other Democrat-favored bills, such as one that could raise gas prices 22 cents a gallon and another that would grant illegal aliens driver’s licenses.
Now one leading Democrat is trying to get Republicans to return by telling them that the climate bill they’re protesting won’t pass anyway because it lacks enough Democratic support, The Oregonian reported.
"House Bill 2020 does not have the votes on the Senate floor,” Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) said. “That will not change.”
"Please senators, come to this floor," he also said, according to local NBC affiliate KGW8.
But Sen. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) isn’t buying it. He’s been in contact with the media from an undisclosed location and said he’s suspicious that Courtney’s words are a sly attempt to get him and other Republicans to return to Oregon for a vote. Bentz said he’d need a lot more assurance that Democrats are willing to make a compromise.
Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) called in to “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday from his secret location in Idaho and said, “We do want to take action on climate change but this was a carbon tax and one of the most inefficient, complicated, and expensive ways to address reduction carbon dioxide emissions,” according to Fox News.
“All we're saying is it shouldn't cost thousands of manufacturing jobs, raise the gas tax by 20 cents a gallon to start out with, and raise natural gas prices for people who heat their home by almost 50 percent,” he continued. “We think there's a better way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and so we’re holding out and [the] only way we could do that and stop this vote is by not providing a quorum for Democrats to roll over us.”
The Oregon State Police superintendent has contacted Knopp asking him to return, but he said, “I politely declined his offer and he indicated that at any time he would be prepared to facilitate my return to the capital.”