After five years of Republicans blocking all efforts on climate change, nearly a dozen Republican members of Congress are deviating from their party and calling for action against climate change, The Guardian reports
The "mini-rebellion" comes just a week before Pope Francis' first visit to the United States — a popular figure who has become involved in numerous hot-button political issues.
The Pope issued an encyclical this year calling for aggressive international action to combat climate change and while most Republicans made clear
they had no problem with the Pope taking a position on the matter and suggested his stance would have little influence on their own views, now at least 10 House Republicans have signed on to the resolution acknowledging that human activity contributes to climate change.
The Guardian reports that the resolution, calling for "conservative environment stewardship," was drafted by Chris Gibson, a former U.S. army colonel and congressman from New York who is not seeking re-election.
According to the National Journal, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Robert Dold of Illinois, Dave Reichert of Washington, Pat Meehan, Ryan Costello, Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and Richard Hanna and Elise Stefanik of New York have endorsed the recent resolution.
And, while the Guardian notes that House Speaker John Boehner has side swiped the issue by stating, "I'm not a scientist," the Pope has announced that he views the matter as a moral issue rather than an economic or scientific concern.
"Behind the scenes there are Republicans who understand they cannot be in denial and we are being supportive of them," said Alan Lowenthal, a Democratic member of the House from California and a leader of the Same Climate Caucus. "They care what the future is. They just find it difficult to be out there all alone, and maybe this will give them the courage to move forward."
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