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House Republicans rejected an amendment offered Tuesday by a top Democrat that called on Congress to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring.

House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) offered the amendment Tuesday during the panel’s markup of legislation to block Environmental Protection Agency climate rules in an effort to get Republicans on the record on climate science.

The amendment failed on a party-line vote of 31-20. No Republicans voted for the amendment.

The legislation to block EPA climate rules would repeal an EPA finding that climate change endangers human health and welfare. Waxman’s amendment calls on Congress to accept the portion of EPA’s finding that says climate change is occurring.

The amendment says that “Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that ‘warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.'”

“This finding is so obviously correct that there should be no need to offer the amendment,” Waxman said.

The broad consensus among scientists is that climate change is occurring in large part because of human activity.

But Republicans took issue with climate science Tuesday.

“My good friend from California tries to make it clear that the science is settled. I would say it’s not settled,” Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said of Waxman’s amendment.

The GOP rejection of the amendments shows “what it means to be on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of science,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said.

The Hill, 15 March 2011