John Shimkus

House Democrats offer plan for zero carbon emissions by 2050
Republicans promise a plan of their own, but it's unlikely to reach zero-carbon goal

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Energy and Commerce Democratic leaders unveiled a draft climate bill aimed at decarbonizing the U.S. economy by 2050, even as House Republicans expect to release their own plan in coming weeks.

The draft measure reflects prescriptions in a blueprint the Democrats released earlier this month, led by committee leaders Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill., to remove carbon emissions from the economy by 2050.

Climate-focused Democrats hope for November reward
They seek to solidify themselves as the party of climate action

Jane Fonda, center, and Susan Sarandon, red scarf, march toward the Capitol on Friday during a weekly rally to call for action on climate change. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats know that their “comprehensive” climate plans are unlikely to see the light of day in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate and face vetoes by a president who has at times rejected the scientific consensus on global warming.

But there’s a strategy afoot to solidify Democrats’ election-year banner as the party of climate action and lure young, independent and even Republican voters disgruntled with the Trump administration’s retreat on environmental issues, analysts say.

Shimkus confirms retirement
Illinois Republican said last week he might want to stick around

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., confirmed plans to retire at the end of his term after briefly reconsidering that decision. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois GOP Rep. John Shimkus said Monday that he will stick with his plan to retire, ending a brief flirtation with an opportunity to pursue a top position on the Energy and Commerce Committee. 

“After weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to reaffirm my plan to retire,” Shimkus said in a statement. 

Shimkus ‘reconsidering’ retirement after top GOP committee post opens up
12-termer from Illinois also seems to soften Trump criticism

Rep. John Shimkus may reconsider a decision to retire to pursue the top GOP post on the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, a 12-term Republican who had announced in August he would retire rather than run again in 2020, said Tuesday he is “reconsidering” his decision.

The change of heart comes a day after Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, announced his retirement. Shimkus is third in Republican seniority on the committee, after a former chairman, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who would need a waiver from GOP rules to become the panel’s chairman or ranking member in the next Congress.

Oregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden not running for reelection
Walden is the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden is retiring. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden announced Monday that he will not run for reelection to a 12th term next year.

Walden, 62, said in a statement he was confident he would have won re-election, but “the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities.”

Trump has GOP critics in Congress — but many of them aren't sticking around
What happens to these critical voices after they leave?

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, who’s been critical of Trump, is not running for a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

While there has been significant Republican criticism on Capitol Hill of President Donald Trump’s actions toward Syria and the Kurdish people there, overall the GOP has become synonymous with support for Trump.

The few members of Congress who have strongly and consistently criticized the president are not sticking around past 2020, raising questions about what kind of credibility their voices will have with their peers, what platform they’ll have outside of Congress, and how the GOP will function in a post-Trump world.

Illinois Republican John Shimkus not running for reelection in 2020
12-term lawmaker leaves behind a safe Republican seat

Illinois Rep. John Shimkus is the ninth Republican to announce plans to retire so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. John Shimkus will not run for a 13th term in his southeastern Illinois district, vacating what will likely remain a safe Republican seat in 2020.

Shimkus announced his decision Friday afternoon, saying he wanted to make his plans known as candidates begin to circulate petitions for office next week. 

House passes climate bill, with few Republican backers
The bill blocks funding for the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement

Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., takes a selfie with climate activists outside of the Capitol after the House passed the Climate Action Now resolution on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed a bill Thursday to block funding for the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and force the White House to share yearly plans of how it will meet its obligations under that deal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made the legislation a priority, and three Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill.

Paris climate bill will send a message and test Republicans
The vote fulfills a Democratic priority, and may reveal if GOP members will vote for a measure contradicting administration policy

Rep. Matt Gaetz, F-Fla., conducts a news conference at the House Triangle to unveil climate change legislation the Green Real Deal, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. He said just because Earth is warming, and humans contributed, doesn't mean a "good deal" was reached in the Paris climate accord. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the House votes Thursday on legislation to stop President Donald Trump from pulling the nation out of the Paris climate agreement, debate in the chamber Wednesday centered on whether the deal would hurt or help the economy.

While the bill has nearly zero chance of passing in the Republican-held Senate and Trump has threatened to veto it if it reaches his desk, it’s a legislative priority for House Democrats who say the administration does not take climate change seriously and has missed opportunities to boost energy industries that produce fewer carbon emissions like wind and solar power.

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Eveyln Sanguinetti announces House run in suburban Chicago
Vying to challenge freshman Democrat Sean Casten in key 6th District

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti is challenging Democratic incumbent Sean Casten in the state’s 6th District. (Courtesy Sanguinetti’s campaign)

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced Monday that she will run for the state’s 6th District, a longtime Republican stronghold captured last year by Democrat Sean Casten

“I really wanted to see Sean Casten be the voice this district needed when he won election last November,” the Republican said at a morning announcement in her hometown of Wheaton, according to a campaign press release. “Unfortunately, all we have is another politician cozying up to progressives and socialists in support of increased taxes and expanded government — when he should be fighting for the district he was sent to represent.”