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Citing risks posed to the environment, economy, public health & more, in a Senate floor speech Senator Murray outlined threats to Washington state posed by climate change, called on Republican colleagues to stop playing political games and join Democrats in urgently addressing the issue of climate change

Senator Murray: “As a voice for Washington state—whose residents are threatened summer after summer with ever-worsening wildfires that destroy more property and cost more money to contain and prevent every year—and as a grandmother—this is personal to me”

Senator Murray to Senate Republicans: “I can only urge Republicans to drop their games—listen to their constituents, listen to facts, do the right thing, and work with us to address this critical issue before it is truly too late”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) urged her Republican colleagues to listen to the science regarding the worsening impact of climate change, and called on them to stop playing political games and work with Democrats to tackle the immediate threat it poses for the planet. In a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Murray emphasized the impact of the climate change crisis on Washington state families and communities—highlighting the increasing severity, destruction, and costs of dangerous wildfires in Washington state as one example—and cited the threat climate change poses to the environment, economy, and public health as reasons Republicans should begin treating climate change like the serious issue it is and working with Democrats to address the climate change crisis urgently and aggressively.

Key Excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor speech:

“See, Democrats are all on the same page—we believe in the science, we believe climate change is one of our planet’s most urgent crises, and we all believe now is the time we must take action—before our planet suffers even more irreparable harm. Democrats have long recognized that climate change is a threat—not just to our environment, but to—our economy, our communities, our health, and even our way of life.”

“I’m inspired by my constituents—especially the students—and I understand why they’re so passionate—they get it. They know how serious climate change is—for today and tomorrow—and they get that we don’t have any time to waste. But M. President, they can’t do it alone—and neither can Washington state. It’s going to take a national commitment—a federal effort—to give this issue the attention it deserves—and Congress should play a major role in ensuring it is treated like the emergency it is.”

“Unfortunately, M. President, when I turn to my Republican friends in moments like this, when we could be having a real conversation about what we should be doing today to tackle climate change, I am reminded that this isn’t a debate made in good faith. Because if Republicans were truly interested in addressing climate change, they would have stood against President Trump’s reckless efforts to roll back clean air standards—or even better, stopped him from pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement and weakening our leadership in the global fight against climate change—just to name a couple of examples.”

“…W]hen it comes to the issue of climate change—and having a discussion about what it would take to really address it with the seriousness and urgency it deserves—Republicans apparently only have time for partisan political games, which is unfortunate, because it is long past time for them to recognize that climate change is an urgent, serious issue, and that it’s going to take all of us—working together—to prevent future generations from suffering the worst of its impacts.” 

Watch video of Senator Murray’s floor speech HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s floor speech below (as prepared for delivery):

“Thank you, M. President.

“M. President, I rise today to join my Democratic colleagues—in lifting up the voices of the countless people in my home state of Washington—and around the nation who are calling out for Congress to truly address the climate change crisis.

“Now, while I’m glad Republicans have decided to take at least a short break from their hurried, ideological campaign to pack our nation’s federal courts with as many conservative judges as possible, it’s inexcusable that they are choosing to play silly political games— instead of working with us to make progress on the many challenges our constituents are facing right now.

“Let me be clear, M. President—Democrats welcome a robust, fact-based discussion here on the Senate floor about what we as a nation must do to combat climate change.

“But that’s not what today’s vote is, nor what it was meant to be.

“From the beginning, this vote was scheduled by Republicans to throw red meat to their right wing base—and an extra bone to Big Oil and Gas.

“But M. President—if anything—what today’s vote makes painfully obvious is that while Democrats are at the table—ready to get to work to tackle one of the most urgent issues of our time.

“Republicans don’t have a vision—much less any solutions—for how we’re going to reverse the course of climate change and prevent future damage to our planet. 

“On the contrary, many Republicans won’t even admit that this is a problem—even after the Trump Administration released its own report detailing how climate change has damaged our planet… and will continue to do so if unaddressed!

“See, Democrats are all on the same page—we believe in the science, we believe climate change is one of our planet’s most urgent crises, and we all believe now is the time we must take action—before our planet suffers even more irreparable harm.

“Democrats have long recognized that climate change is a threat—not just to our environment, but to—our economy, our communities, our health, and even our way of life.

“…and as a voice for Washington state—whose residents are threatened summer after summer with ever-worsening wildfires that destroy more property and cost more money to contain and prevent every year—and as a grandmother—this is personal to me.

“But M. President, it’s not just me, or Senate Democrats—our families back in our states understand the risk of climate change too and are eager for their government to take action against the immediate threat it poses.

“I was back home last week, meeting with leaders in our state capitol of Olympia, where they’re working on a suite of aggressive policies aimed at tackling climate change…

“And every day, I hear from young people all across Washington state about how they want to inherit a clean, healthy planet, and that the only way we can ensure that happens is by listening to the science and working to do something now while we still can make a difference.

“M. President, I’m inspired by my constituents—especially the students—and I understand why they’re so passionate—they get it.

“They know how serious climate change is—for today and tomorrow—and they get that we don’t have any time to waste.

“But M. President, they can’t do it alone—and neither can Washington state.

“It’s going to take a national commitment—a federal effort—to give this issue the attention it deserves—and Congress should play a major role in ensuring it is treated like the emergency it is.

“Unfortunately, M. President, when I turn to my Republican friends in moments like this, when we could be having a real conversation about what we should be doing today to tackle climate change, I am reminded that this isn’t a debate made in good faith.

“Because if Republicans were truly interested in addressing climate change, they would have stood against President Trump’s reckless efforts to roll back clean air standards—or even better, stopped him from pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement and weakening our leadership in the global fight against climate change—just to name a couple of examples.

“Now, we’ve seen Democrats and Republicans come together to protect our environment; the recent bipartisan passage of the public lands package is a good example.

“But when it comes to the issue of climate change—and having a discussion about what it would take to really address it with the seriousness and urgency it deserves—Republicans apparently only have time for partisan political games, which is unfortunate, because it is long past time for them to recognize that climate change is an urgent, serious issue, and that it’s going to take all of us—working together—to prevent future generations from suffering the worst of its impacts.

“So in closing M. President, Democrats are ready and willing to debate Republicans on the facts about the risks of not tackling climate change as aggressively as possible…

“…and I can only urge Republicans to drop their games—listen to their constituents, listen to facts, do the right thing, and work with us to address this critical issue before it is truly too late.

“Thank you, M. President—I yield the floor.”