Parting thoughts from a Republican climate hawk -- Thursday, October 15, 2020 --

Rep. Francis Rooney wants to spend some time in Spain.

The Florida Republican is retiring after just four years on Capitol Hill, where he has become known as one of the few Republicans who support carbon pricing and environmental regulation.

When he leaves, Rooney wants to be a model for term limits and, once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, he wants to head to the Rioja region of Spain, where his family runs a small-batch winery, Bodega 202.

"I was a fundraiser for a long time for both of the Bush campaigns and was very closely involved with Mitt Romney's campaign and Jeb's campaign, as long as it was," Rooney said, referring to Republican former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "So I'll probably say peripherally involved, but I want to pay attention to our family businesses."

Rooney, whose construction and holding companies made him one of the richest members of Congress, was ambassador to the Holy See during the George W. Bush administration.

Since replacing former Rep. Curt Clawson (R) in 2016, Rooney has largely been a reliable backer of President Trump, despite saying last year that he would be open to voting for impeachment (he ended up voting no) and earning a 24% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, which is high for a Republican.

He's been one of only a handful of Republicans to co-sponsor carbon pricing legislation, and since the beginning of the 116th Congress, he's been the co-chairman of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).


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