During consideration in the House of a new funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a Republican initiative that would have demanded a focus in areas other than climate change amid studies of aircraft turbulence was voted down, with 227 members of the House voting “no” Wednesday. That outcome arrived despite the GOP control of the chamber as a whole, where the party nabbed a slim majority in the 2022 elections.
Though an exact text for the proposed initiative wasn’t available on the accompanying webpage on Congress.gov, a summary there said the measure — in the form of an amendment — would’ve been meant to “clarify that a study of turbulence should include a focus on weather conditions rather than climate change since weather is the proximate cause.” Republicans have often faced accusations — and sometimes embraced the cause — of glossing over the scientific community’s consensus on climate change, which characterizes the threat as demonstrably significant and ties developments that have been recorded to human activity.
During a recent hearing in the Senate, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson perhaps captured some of the party’s latest stance with an acknowledgment climate change was happening… combined with a rejection of the argument that civilization could reasonably expect to make impacts on the progression of it. “Climate has always changed, always will,” Johnson asserted to witness Malcolm Turnbull, a former prime minister of Australia. “My viewpoint is, I don’t think there’s anything we can really do about it.”
The newly failed House proposal dealing with climate change was sponsored by first-term Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.). A full 16 Republicans voted “no” on the initiative, including first-term members from New York who have sometimes ended up cast as more moderate than other members of their party. That list includes the 17th district’s Mike Lawler. A Democratic primary race is taking shape in that district that already includes a sister of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Mondaire Jones, the former Democratic Congressman for that very jurisdiction.