Standoff in Salem continues as clock ticks toward adjournment, legislation imperiled

The Oregon Senate chambers remain nearly empty this week as a quorum has not convened. (Oregon Capital Bureau)

SALEM — A week after they left Salem to protest a sweeping Democratic proposal to address climate change, Republican senators are finding other reasons not to return.

The cap-and-trade plan known as House Bill 2020 lacks the votes to pass, Democrats said Tuesday. But even with HB 2020’s demise, there's no sign that the return of the Republicans is imminent, and negotiations to get the 11 senators back in the Capitol appear to have stalled.

None of the absent senators have declared their intention to return to the Senate to get on with its business, and a few have said they won’t until other issues are addressed.

“If I only I could believe . . .