Curbelo Joins Climate Solutions Caucus Members on the House Floor to Call for Further Action on Climate Issues in Congress
Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, took to the House Floor earlier this week to recognize the Caucus's work and growth so far this year and its ability to foster effective dialogue on climate and environmental issues. Additionally, Curbelo urged his colleagues to help expand its influence and encouraged them to join the Caucus.
"This is a not an issue that we should shy away from," Curbelo said. "We should rise to this occasion. This is the country that has led the entire world through a host of different challenges over the last couple centuries. We can also do it on this climate issue, but I think we can only do it if we do it together."
Curbelo Joins Climate Solutions Caucus Members on the House Floor to Call for Further Action on Climate in Congress
Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to my colleague from Illinois for leading this special discussion tonight. I am grateful to have the opportunity to come here, for a few minutes, and, more than anything, thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle – Republicans and Democrats – who have stepped up and said, ‘Enough of the demagoguery, enough of the fact-less conversation. Let's focus on what is happening in the world, on how human beings are contributing to it, and let's try to make the situation better.’
"I oftentimes say that, on this climate issue, neither the deniers nor the alarmists have much to offer. It is the men and women who are willing to sit at the table and have a sober conversation that can really help solve this problem and there are a lot of people who are counting on us to solve this problem.
"Sea level rise is a reality. It is happening all over the world. Mr. Speaker, you might understand why this might be important to me. I represent a community where most people live near sea level and near the sea. This is a real concern, especially in the Florida Keys, one of the most attractive and dynamic parts of the country, an area that is recovering and we hope our fellow Americans will help us continue recovering after Hurricane Irma.
"The Florida Keys and most of South Florida is significantly exposed to this sea level rise challenge, and we know, we know, that human activity is at least, in part, responsible for this dynamic. The Climate Solutions Caucus is not about blaming people. It’s not about pointing the finger. It is about coming up with solutions.
"I think there are really three phases to our Caucus and our work. The first phase was to bring Republicans and Democrats together, sit at the table, have a discussion about our different perspectives on this issue, invite in some key witnesses to help inform us. We have done that. We have done a good job. Caucus members have a very good relationship, a good rapport.
"The next phase has been to block anti-climate legislation and we’ve done that successfully here with an appropriations amendment where the Caucus has come together and said, ‘No. We’re not going to prohibit the Defense Department from planning or assessing the risks associated with climate change.’ Again, this is critical in my district. I happen to represent Naval Air Station Key West, where the men and women of the Navy work hard to train and prepare to defend our country overseas and that is a facility that is exposed to this threat.
"So, we came together and we defeated an amendment that would have prevented – prohibited – the Defense Department from assessing these risks.
"And I really think, and I’m really excited for the next phase of the Caucus, which I hope we can reach during this Congress, which is to find legislation that we can all get behind and say, ‘These are reasonable solutions that not only help the environment and help guarantee that we are going to hand off to our children and grandchildren the same beautiful Earth that we inherited, but also that we are going to provide opportunities for American innovation and growth, and new good jobs, high-paying jobs, for young men and women from all over this country.’
"That is going to be very exciting, and we’re all working together to get to that day where we can promote an agenda in this Congress that will bring Republicans and Democrats together behind a pro-environment, pro-growth policy that will save this planet and keep our country on the cutting edge of innovation, leading the world.
"This is a not an issue that we should shy away from. We should rise to this occasion. This is the country that has led the entire world through a host of different challenges over the last couple centuries. We can also do it on this climate issue, but I think we can only do it if we do it together.
"So, I thank all of my colleagues, but especially my Democratic colleagues tonight who have led this Special Order, organized this Special Order. And, I think we all would like to invite our colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, to join the Caucus, especially on my side. We are up to 30 Republicans, 30 Democrats. That’s very exciting. When I arrived here a couple years ago, I probably had only two or three Republican colleagues who were even willing to discuss this issue, and now there are 30 on the record. Let's keep the Caucus growing, let's keep it strong, let's work together, and let's change the world for the better.”