GOP supporters gather outside Oregon State Capitol

Politics

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A few dozen people gathered outside the Oregon State Capitol Saturday to support the Republican senators who walked out of the legislature earlier this week to halt a vote on a cap-and-trade bill.

The Oregon Capitol was ordered closed Saturday due to a “possible militia threat” from right-wing protesters as a walkout by Republican lawmakers over landmark climate change legislation drags on.

Republican supporters who showed up said the senators did the right thing.

“I came out here today because House Bill 2020 is a disaster for the state of Oregon,” Rick Howell of Hillsboro. 

“There are a lot of bad things being said about them, hiding and such, I think they are doing the right thing and I support them,” Steve Majera said. 

The 11 Republicans who walked out prevented a quorum in the Senate, bringing all legislative action to a halt. Gov. Kate Brown authorized the Oregon State Police to round them up and bring them back to the Capitol.

So far, none of the Republicans has re-appeared and leaders vow to “run out the clock” on the legislative session.

By law, the legislative session is due to end on June 30. But Brown said she will call a special session if there is still work to be done.

The cap-and-trade bill, officially HB2020, would dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2050. It would be the second program of its kind in the nation after California if passed.

Some demonstrators said more could return Sunday when another session is scheduled for 10 a.m. 

A few dozen people gathered outside the Oregon State Capitol to support the Republican senators who walked out of the legislature, June 22, 2019 (KOIN)

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