The House Republican Caucus has indicated this morning that they, too, will be walking out of the 2020 legislative session in order to deny a quorum on Cap & Trade legislation.
The prospect of a House Republican walkout intensified last evening when Speaker Kotek, through the Rules Committee, posted 6 new bills for introduction that were variations of Cap & Trade, further Cleaner Air Oregon regulations, and other environmental issues that are currently pending for the 2020 ballot.
It is highly unusual for new bills to be introduced at this late date in a short session, especially after Policy Committees have now concluded their business. Once introduced, those bills could be called directly to the floor for a vote. House Republicans were not going to let that happen.
This means both the House and Senate Republican caucuses are now absent. This will effectively prevent any further floor action in either Chamber, as both Republican caucuses have enough members to effectively deny quorum.
It is expected that both Republican caucuses intend to stay absent through the end of the session, but their absence will likely trigger calls for special sessions after March 8th.
It should be noted that Committees will continue to do their work in the event that an 11th hour agreement is reached. But again, both House and Senate floor sessions are effectively disabled, which means that all bills are effectively dead at this point.
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