Bundled up in a winter coat, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C. to raise alarm that the arm of the government "that should be leading the effort in this country and around the world to combat climate change" is barely operating due to President Donald Trump's temper tantrum over border wall funding.
In a video shared to social media on Tuesday, the senator called on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to stop blocking votes on legislation approved by the House that would end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
While pointing to warnings from scientists that without an urgent transition away from burning fossil fuels, "the planet that we will be leaving our children and grandchildren will be increasingly unhealthy and uninhabitable," Sanders noted that during the shutdown, 95 percent of EPA employees are furloughed and many are considered "nonessential."
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"So here you have a major crisis for the United States and for the world, and at the same time you have nobody, or almost nobody, working here at the EPA," he said. "Now how insane is that?"
The scientists tell us that the future of the planet is endangered by climate change. Meanwhile, because of Trump's government shutdown, about 95% of E.P.A. employees have been furloughed because they are "non-essential." How insane is that? pic.twitter.com/1XiUvqbzUf
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 15, 2019