House Democrat Nancy Pelosi is expected to be the next Speaker of the House and is already looking to change the legislative body in a major way with the creation of a new committee.
As the Washington Examiner reports, Pelosi announced the creation of a new special committee on climate change. She named Flordia Congresswoman and fellow Democrat Kathy Castor as its chair.
From the report:
Pelosi said in a statement that Castor will bring an new “urgency to the existential threat of the climate crisis” facing the United States and the world in leading the committee. The presumed incoming speaker also said the committee will shape how Congress addresses global warming while also looking at ways to create good-paying, “green” jobs.
Castor has made climate change a front-and-center issue, given the impact her state has felt from sea-level rise and other issues impacting Florida’s coastal communities that have been linked to global warming.
She is considered a moderate on climate issues, supporting only some aspects of the “Green New Deal,” which supports moving the country to 100-percent renewable energy.
“It is with great enthusiasm that I appoint Congresswoman Kathy Castor as the Chair of our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis,” Pelosi said in a released statement on Friday, per the Daily Caller.
“She will bring great experience, energy, and urgency to the existential threat of the climate crisis,” the California congresswoman continued. “This committee will be critical to the entire Congress’s mission to respond to the urgency of this threat while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future.”
And: “The American people have demanded action to combat the climate crisis, which threatens our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation.”
Here’s more from the Daily Caller:
The creation of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is one way Pelosi plans on satisfying progressives without angering incoming committee chairs, like New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone, who want to advance their own climate bills.
Pelosi’s climate committee isn’t expected to have subpoena power or authority to advance legislation to the House floor for a vote. If that’s the case, it would be weaker than the previous select climate committee behind the 2010 failed cap-and-trade effort.
While some of Pelosi’s base and colleagues in the House are supporting the decision, some others like newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the decision. The New York Congresswoman-elect’s criticism of Pelosi concerns naming Castor to the chairmanship.
“This committee, if it turns out that the rumors about it are true, sounds about as useful as a screen door on a submarine,” Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent reportedly said to the Hill, via the Daily Caller.
“As it’s portrayed it’s going to be completely incapable of solving the greatest threat to humankind,” Trent continued.
“Leadership, in general, is about listening to the voices of the people you’re supposed to be leading and I don’t believe this process incorporated that very effectively,” Trent also said.
Pelosi’s creation of the committee comes amid her own bid for the speakership. Whether she has enough support from her own party is yet to be confirmed.Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.