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In the just-ended standoff in Oregon, were bad-boy Republicans once again refusing to play by the rules?
That’s how Democrats and much of the media portrayed the conflict between Democrats in Oregon and the GOP legislators who fled to deny the state senate a quorum.
Walkouts - Tool - Legislation - Cases - Years
But though rare, walkouts are a widely recognized tool for blocking legislation in extreme cases. In recent years, the legislators walking out have mostly been Democrats, and Republicans have responded by compromising and occasionally capitulating. That’s what happened in reverse on Tuesday, as Democrats abandoned the bill in question.
In a massive irony, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown had found herself arguing against the position she held on the tactic in 2001 when she and two dozen other Democrats fled to Warm Springs Indian Reservation in a spat with Republicans over a redistricting plan.
Dispute - Bill - Businesses - Sector - Beaver
The 2019 dispute revolved around a cap-and-trade bill which would require businesses in every sector of the Beaver State’s economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Widely considered the most extreme statewide climate change law outside California, Republicans said the bill would devastate rural communities and harm important state industries like farming, logging, and dairy.
Unlike several states — and the U.S. Congress — that require a simple majority for a quorum, Oregon legislators cannot pass a bill without two-thirds in attendance. The state senate has 30 members, but only 18 are Democrats, so unless at least two had returned to the chamber, the environmental bill could not have passed.
Ado - Standoff - Republican - Resistance - Idea
Much of the public ado about about the standoff related to Republican resistance to the idea of being hauled back to the chamber. Most vividly, State Sen. Brian Boquist told the state troopers to “send bachelors and come heavily armed. I am not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon.”
Governor Brown lambasted her GOP opponents,...
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