SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Supporters of Republicans who have walked off the Senate floor gathered for a rally on the steps of the State Capitol Thursday morning.

Farmers, ranchers, truckers and loggers from all across the state attended the rally to show their opposition to House Bill 2020, which they say would bring higher fuel prices and job cuts.

They also wanted to be at the Capitol to show support for the Senate Republicans who have walked off the Senate floor and fled the state - a tactic to stop HB 2020 from passing by the Democratic majority.

"We want to support the 11 senators who took the courageous step to shut this thing down and give people time to think. This bill affects everyone. It's not just the timber industry. The price of goods and services all go up when you start raising the price of fuel" said logger Jon Golly.

"Today we're here for the cap-and-trade bill which is going to destroy rural Oregon. We're good, hardworking people, we're stewards of the ground. If this passes, you may as well wipe up off the map," said Mike Pihl with Mike Pihl Logging. "We understand there's a global warming issue, but this is not the way to address it."

The rally on the Capitol Steps began at 9 a.m. and drew a huge crowd.

On Thursday morning, there was still no indication when the Republican walkout would be over.

Despite an announcement from Senate President Peter Courtney on Tuesday that indicated the cap-and-trade bill no longer had enough Democratic support on the floor, the 11 Senate Republicans have not returned.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Republicans said there still has been no deal. They said that's because they want a guarantee Democrats will not pull a bait and switch, and still try to push HB 2020 through on the Senate floor or in committee.

"The people who think it's a trap. I can understand," said Sen. Ginny Burdick, Oregon Senate Majority Leader. "What we know now, is that we have in front of us some very important policy bills. We have budget bills and we were elected to deal with these issues. If the Republicans continue to abscond from their jobs, we will not be able to do that. And, that's very serious."

Senate Republicans have also again echoed their request that the House, Senate Democrats and Governor Kate Brown agree to send any type of carbon bill to the ballot for a public vote.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the more than 100 other bills still pending - including dozens of crucial budget bills - lawmakers have until Sunday night to pass any of them for this year.

If Senate Republicans do not return, all bills from this session - including HB 2020 - would die.

Gov. Brown has sent Oregon State Police troopers after Senate Republicans to get them back to the floor. They only need two of them back to meet quorum. So far, none have returned.

Because of that, they are still being fined $500 each day they are absent. So far, together, they've racked up more than $13,000 in fines.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(5) comments

deyterkerjerbsPDX

Congrats, We protested the planet and won. Climate change ERN'T REAL! Glaciers melt... Here's undeniable proof. Pour a glass of water, add ice cubes, and walk away for like an hour. The ice melts and you see condensation. The planet is just condensating right now. Why are you environmentalist so worried? Havent you heard of how the water cycle works? It returns to the sky and comes back as rain later. Simple sciense see we ended the climate debate just like that!

Kire

Sen. Ginny Burdick, the actions by you and your conspirators have created the legislative crisis. You are right, it is serious, but the seriousness is not about the Republican Senators doing their job and considering ALL Oregonians instead of only the radical left wing that you represent.

CherryAnn1000

I live in Salem, and just passed the truckers leaving the fairgrounds for the capitol. I totally support them and what they are trying to do, and I urge all right thinking Oregonians to say, "Enough, already," at the Democrat overreach in this state which has gone on too long. We need a governor who is truly an Oregonian, not some Cally transplant, who will totally support logging as a major industry in this state and not cave in to enviro wackos who continue to try and decimate this state with their loony philosophy. Go, truckers!

LBC

Gov Kate Brown needs to GO. She is the biggest joke for representation of Oregon. We can do much better without her.

CherryAnn1000

Absolutely!

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