Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is planning on focusing the Senate Budget Committee, which he now chairs, on climate in the 118th Congress.
Whitehouse, who recently became the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, plans to focus much of his time on “climate change,” according to the Washington Post’s Climate 202 newsletter.
The newsletter indicated that Whitehouse, who has given nearly 300 speeches about climate change on the Senate floor, intends to use his chairmanship “to probe ways climate change could threaten the overall economy — and how the fossil fuel industry has allegedly misled the public about global warming.”
The senator’s committee does not necessarily have as much power as some of the other committees, according to Climate 202, but the committee produces budget resolutions that appropriators use as blueprints. This appears to be how Whitehouse intends to use his power to focus on climate change.
Whitehouse told Climate 202 in an interview after Wednesday’s hearing on climate issues that “there are plenty of sector-specific areas for the committee to dive into where there is profound budget impact from climate change, the obvious ones being coastal flooding and the flood insurance program.”
The newsletter indicated that Whitehouse could probe the federal flood maps from FEMA, as the senator has consistently complained about how bad they are. In addition to the oil industry, he would need to get the documents the House Oversight and Accountability Committee subpoenaed as part of their year-long investigation in the last Congress.