Oregon Republicans return to the capitol after successfully teaming up with armed paramilitary to thwart climate bill
Sam Andrews, left, speaks with a demonstrator in Ferguson (YouTube)

On Saturday, The Daily Beast reported that Republicans in the Oregon State Senate have ended their "walkout" and returned to the capitol in Salem.


This comes on the heels of Senate Democrats agreeing to table a cap-and-trade climate bill that was the focus of the GOP's protest.

Democrats hold an 18 to 11 majority in the Senate, but state law requires that at least 20 senators must be present and voting to constitute a quorum. Republicans therefore simply walked off their jobs and fled the state, paralyzing the Senate and leaving Democrats incapable of passing anything.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown initially threatened to send state troopers to bring back the absent senators, but the situation escalated quickly, with Sen. Brian Bolquist warning the Oregon State Police had better "send bachelors and come heavily armed." Right-wing paramilitary groups like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters quickly mobilized to "protect" the GOP senators from law enforcement, and the Capitol was shut down over threats to lawmakers' safety.

Oregon state House Speaker Tina Kotek decried the sequence of events as "a dark week for the integrity of the Legislature," blasting Republicans for "threatening our democratic institution and subverting the will of Oregon voters." She vowed that she would still work to pass comprehensive climate change legislation.