Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has authorized the state police to round up Republican state senators who are leaving the state in an effort to deny Democrats the quorum to vote on a high-profile climate bill that seeks to create a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in several public sectors in the state, saying they “need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
GOP state senators staged a walkout this week after voicing concerns over the climate bill’s impacts on a number of “energy intensive, trade-exposed” businesses in rural communities.
All 11 Republican senators are in hiding, at least some of them out of state, according to Oregon Live.
Though the bill has already passed the House and Democrats hold a supermajority in the state Senate, Republicans have the numbers to deny a quorum in the Senate, reports The Hill.
“The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out. The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward for Oregonians. As the executive of the agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats’ request,” Brown said in a press release.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building. They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
Oregon state Sen. Brian Boquist (R) on Wednesday appeared to threaten violence if state police were sent to return Republicans to Salem.
“This is what I told the superintendent,” Boquist said, referring to Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
Oregon state senator @BrianBoquistGOP said if R's walk out to stop a vote on Cap and Trade and @OregonGovBrown sends state police to bring him back, they should be single and well armed. Your take? pic.twitter.com/Fcu8NXXl8h
— Pat Dooris (@PatDooris) June 19, 2019