Former Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) clapped back at House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday after the Maryland Democrat disinvited the former congressman from testifying at the House Ways and Means Committee’s hearing on climate change on Wednesday.
Last week, Hoyer convinced House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) to revoke Curbelo’s invitation to testify in front of the committee during their hearing on climate change this week.
Mariel Saez, the spokeswoman for Hoyer, said about the invitation revocation:
“Mr. Hoyer felt it would be inappropriate for Mr. Curbelo to testify given he has been unclear about his 2020 electoral plans and has a long track record of being unable to persuade his Republican colleagues that climate change is real and needs to be addressed.”
Curbelo fired back on Wednesday after showing up for the hearing anyway, blasting Hoyer while speaking to the Washington Examiner and accusing him of not focusing on “solving climate change” and instead putting his attention on playing politics for a race “that may not even happen.”
“His main concern is not solving climate change; it’s blocking me from an opportunity he thinks could be beneficial to me in a future run for office that may not even happen. It’s really just short-sighted.”
The former Florida congressman said outside the committee room that he “respected” his “friend” Hoyer but stated his concern with the motives behind the House majority leader’s move.
“Steny Hoyer has been a friend, someone who I respected very much while I was here,” Curbelo said. “The only question I have for him is, is my political future more important than building consensus to address climate change in a meaningful way?”
“By his actions, he indicated that one congressional district and what could potentially happen there is more important than solving what is probably the greatest threat to humanity,” added the Florida Republican.
Curbelo had served on the Ways and Means Committee during his time in Congress and introduced carbon tax legislation as the first Republican to do so in almost ten years. He is also friends with Chairman Neal from his time in the legislative branch.
Curbelo isn’t the only Republican to introduce climate change legislation.
As IJR Red previously reported, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced the Green Real Deal to address climate change without stifling American innovation or taking some of the extreme provisions outlined in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal.