PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Sunday morning Senate session adjourned quickly after only 18 members showed up.
Eleven Republican senators were still missing, so Senate President Peter Courtney adjourned until Monday. People gathered at the Capitol to show their support for the senators.
Senate Republican Leader, Herman Baertschiger, Jr. (R-Grants Pass) released a statement about the rallies that caused Saturday’s session to be canceled:
“The peaceful rallies on the steps this weekend were done by Oregonians who will be directly impacted by the gas and emissions tax or House Bill 2020. Democrats were reactionary to rumors and lacked the courage to face these Oregonians by closing the Capitol building on Saturday, when it was scheduled to be open, and limiting space in the gallery of the Senate Chamber, forcing them into committee rooms to watch the floor on Sunday. My caucus and I continue to stand firm and remain out of the state. We are working for our constituents and all Oregonians. Thank you to everyone who has expressed support.”
The Republicans who walked out last week 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.
Republicans have vowed 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.
Watch: Senate President Peter Courtney adjourns Senate until Monday
The Associated Press contributed to this report