U.S. Capitol Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer

March 7 — Nearly 30 Democratic and Independent senators are expected to participate in an all-night session on the Senate floor discussing the need to act to address climate change from the evening of March 10 through 9 a.m. March 11.

Participants in the all-night session, organized by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), will include four of the top Democrats in Senate leadership: Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Secretary of the Conference Patty Murray (Wash.). Their participation is seen as a sign of commitment from Senate leadership to address the issue of climate change.

“Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is solvable,” Schatz said in a statement announcing the event. “Congress must act. On Monday night we're going to show the growing number of Senators who are committed to working together to confront climate change.”

Other participants in the event include Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Al Franken (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.) and Cory Booker (N.J.).

Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus Kind (Maine) also are expected to participate.

No Republicans are currently slated to speak.

The evening session is the highest profile event, to date, from the Senate Climate Action Task Force. Boxer and Whitehouse launched the caucus in January with the duel goals of defending President Obama's climate action plan from Republican attacks but also launching an offensive campaign to urge action on climate change.

New Reinforcements Seen

Schatz told Bloomberg BNA after the group's inaugural Jan. 16 that “I think it's fair to say that some of the longtime climate champions are finding that they have new reinforcements.”

Senate Democrats and Independents will hold their all-night session just days after nearly all House Republicans voted down an amendment that would have recognized that greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources are a significant contributor to climate change.


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