A TV reporter interviews self-employed logger Bridger Hasbrouck, of Dallas, Ore., outside the Oregon State House in Salem, Ore., on Thursday, June 20, 2019, the day the Senate is scheduled to take up a bill that would create the nation's second cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions. Senate Republicans, however, pledged to walk out so there wouldn't be enough lawmakers present for a vote on House Bill 2020, which is extremely unpopular among loggers, truckers and many rural voters. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

Militia threat shuts down Oregon Statehouse amid walkout

June 22, 2019 - 12:11 am

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Capitol will be closed Saturday over a "possible militia threat" from right-wing protesters amid a walkout by Republican lawmakers over landmark climate change legislation.

Republican senators fled the Legislature — and some, the state — earlier this week to deny majority Democrats votes to take up the climate bill, which would dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2050. It would be the nation's second program of its kind after California.

Gov. Kate Brown dispatched state police to round up rogue lawmakers, but none appeared in the Capitol and the stalemate seemed destined for a third day with a week left in the legislative session.

Some Republicans were set to protest inside the Capitol on Saturday when lawmakers were present, and anti-government groups threatened to join, prompting the statehouse shutdown.

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