Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, is planning to betray the GOP one more time before leaving office at the end of the year.
On Wednesday, Flake took to Twitter to announce that he will be teaming up with Democrats to introduce a climate change-related “carbon tax”
The move is significant for two reasons.
For starters, he’s joining forces with Democrats to push a tax hike that they claim will reduce fuel emissions. The bill does nothing more than place a tax on businesses and corporations in the fuel and gas industry.
Secondly, Flake has refused to vote in favor of confirming judges to federal and district courts because he’s angered that Republicans won’t vote to pass his bill that protects Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Because Senate Republicans won’t support a bill that would forbid President Donald Trump from ever being able to fire Mueller, Flake has refused to vote to confirm several judges the president nominated to important federal and district courts.
So, now he’s teaming up with Democrats.
“Republicans need to get serious about climate change. That’s why I introduced a revenue-neutral carbon tax bill in the House several years ago. Today, @ChrisCoons & I have introduced a bipartisan, revenue-neutral carbon tax bill that provides an honest path to clean energy,” he wrote.
After several clashes with Trump in the last two years, Flake’s parting gift is to betray the GOP and work with Democrats on a left-wing measure.
Last month, Flake also encouraged a Republican to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020 — and suggested it might be him.
“I’ve not ruled it out. I’ve not ruled it in. Just, somebody needs to run on the Republican side,” Flake said, arguing that outgoing Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse could give Trump a challenge.
Flake insisted that Trump is ruining the GOP’s viability and predicted only an electoral loss would save the party long term.
“I hope somebody does [run], just to remind Republicans what it means to be conservative and what it means to be decent. We’ve got to bring that back,” Flake said.
Flake also angered Republicans in October when he held up the vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and sided with Coons — the Democrat who he just introduced legislation with on a carbon tax — to allow a second FBI investigation into the baseless allegations.
Coons was able to persuade flake — who was one of the three Republicans needed to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination in the Senate — to delay the vote and allow the FBI another week to conduct a supplemental background check.
And now, Flake’s parting gift to Republicans is to side with Democrats on a bill while refusing to vote for a slew of judges nominated by Trump.