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POLITICS: PennAve

Senate Democrats to talk climate change in Monday filibuster

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Senate,Climate Change,PennAve,Filibuster,Energy and Environment,Zack Colman,Koch brothers,Barbara Boxer,Tom Steyer

Green eggs and ham isn't on the menu this time around. Instead, senators holding the floor for all of Monday and into Tuesday morning will serve up a heaping dose of climate change.

Senate Democrats will control the floor for an all-night session on climate change, according to a statement from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. In all, 28 Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., will participate in the event, which will end around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“So many senators coming together for an all-night session shows our commitment to wake up Congress to the dangers of climate change. All you have to do is look at China to see what happens to your country when you throw the environment under the bus," said Boxer, chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The move underscores the sentiment among the caucus that climate change is a winning issue for the party. It's part of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, which is seeking to provide backing for President Obama's climate agenda while elevating the dialogue on climate as legislation has stalled on Capitol Hill.

Reid also has been more vocal on the subject lately. He bashed the Koch brothers, the billionaire industrialists who have bankrolled conservative causes, on the Senate floor last week, saying that Senate Republicans are "addicted to Koch." According to The Huffington Post, The Nevada Democrat also told reporters this week that, "Climate change is the worst problem facing the world today."

While Reid has grown more boisterous when it comes to the Koch brothers, Republicans have shot back that Democratic-aligned outsiders are starting to play the big money game as well. They have pointed to Tom Steyer, the billionaire former hedge fund manager, who has pledged to spend $100 million through his NextGen Climate PAC on climate and environmental issues ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

"I noted with interest the majority leader was hammering the Koch brothers again today, and I wondered why he left out billionaire Tom Steyer," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week.

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Zack Colman

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner