Stabenow corrects McConnell on 'cow farts'
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently for exaggerating the ambitious "Green New Deal" resolution in Congress.
"The Republican majority leader said that we want to end air travel and cow farts," Stabenow said on the Senate floor last week.
"Cows don't fart, by the way, Mr. President. They belch. Just for the record."
McConnell wasn't the only one to make the error. An FAQ initially provided on the website of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, last month referred to the Green New Deal's goal of reaching "net-zero" greenhouse gases within a decade.
The FAQ, which was later removed, said the goal was not "zero emissions" because "we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast."
Stabenow's remarks came as she criticized Senate Republicans for "mocking what is probably the most serious issue of our time" — climate change.
She said it was "absurd" for McConnell and others to say the anti-pollution resolution proposes outlawing air travel or the military or ice cream, which it does not.
"This is mocking the serious, serious issue of our time, where we can't get the majority to join us on a simple resolution to say climate change is real, that it is man made and that we need to act," Stabenow said.
"That we have a responsibility to our children and our grandchildren to act. Let's start there."
Trump signs bill named for Dingell
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed into law a public lands conservation bill named for the late Rep. John Dingell Jr., D-Dearborn.
His widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell, attended the signing ceremony at the White House for the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act.
"John would have been so proud to see Democrats and Republicans come together to sign into law a landmark public lands bill to conserve and protect America’s wild plants, fish, animals and their habitats. Smiles and tears all at once," she tweeted.
Dingell won her husband's seat in the U.S. House in 2014. He passed away in February at age 92.
Slotkin sponsors kitten bill
Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, has signed on as an original co-sponsor of a bill that her predecessor, former Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, last year championed in Congress.
Bishop had introduced the KITTEN Act with Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-California, to prohibit the Agriculture Department's breeding, use and disposal of cats in "painful or stressful" testing procedures.
The bill got Bishop some positive press coverage, complete with adorable kitten photos, during a difficult reelection campaign.
After Bishop lost his seat, Panetta asked Slotkin to join him as an original co-sponsor for the reintroduction this month of the Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now Act of 2019, she said.
"We enjoyed some funny stories from the campaign trail," Slotkin said, referring to her heated race against two-term incumbent Bishop.
"You know, there's a lot of people who support the health and safety of kittens. This is something that actually we hear a lot about — animal cruelty, concerns about treatment of animals both for research and by their their owners and puppy mills. It's very bipartisan."
The legislation targets taxpayer-funded experiments for a research project at a Maryland lab that led to the deaths of 221 healthy cats in the last five years. The annual cost of the federal project is $624,000.
The USDA has defended the tests, crediting the research with helping to cut the prevalence of the common parasite that causes the disease toxoplasmosis.