Dems join Republicans to pass anti-carbon tax measure

By Emma Dumain | 03/22/2024 06:40 AM EDT

The vote on a nonbinding resolution was pure theater but came as other lawmakers are seeking a path on a bipartisan carbon tariff bill.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).

Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona was one of several Democrats who voted with Republicans against a carbon tax Thursday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The House voted Thursday on a nonbinding resolution to disapprove of a carbon tax — a messaging measure that came at something of a critical moment for bipartisan lawmakers looking to tie trade policy to climate action.

The 222-186 vote for H.Con.Res. 86 showed the extent to which the concept of putting a price on the carbon intensity of U.S. goods and services remains politically toxic, both for Republicans who care about lowering greenhouse gas emissions and Democrats in swing districts and tough election fights.

All but one Republican — Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a reliable moderate GOP vote on climate issues — supported the resolution. Ten Democrats, mostly those vulnerable to losing seats this November, broke with their party and voted “no.”


The resolution would express “the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.” It was considered as part of the Republican majority’s “energy week,” in which members devoted time in committees and on the House floor debating legislation geared toward fighting back against the Biden environmental agenda.