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US Republican bill to block Paris climate agreement reignites Senate ratification debate

The Washington Times

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, has introduced a bill to block the Biden administration from reentering the Paris agreement until it receives Senate confirmation, a nod to the longstanding debate over the accord’s legitimacy.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, introduced legislation Jan. 21, 2021, to require Senate ratification of the Paris climate agreement. 

Her bill, which has 11 GOP cosponsors, bars Congress from appropriating funds to implement the international climate accord until it receives Senate ratification, a step that former President Obama skipped when he used his executive authority to enter the agreement in 2016.

“My bill prohibits Congress from spending a single penny on the Paris Agreement until this treaty is ratified by the United States Senate,” said Ms. Boebert in a Thursday press release. “Joe Biden took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. If he wants to keep it, he must transmit the job-killing Paris Agreement to the U.S. Senate for ratification.”

The bill has little chance of passing the Democrat-controlled House, but the legislation has drawn attention to the debate over whether the Paris accord is an executive agreement, as the Obama administration maintained, or a treaty that requires the advice and consent of the Senate under the Constitution.

Mr. Biden, citing “a climate in crisis,” signed an executive order Wednesday to rejoin the Paris agreement after former President Trump set into motion the process to exit the accord via his 2017 executive order. The U.S. withdrawal became official on Nov. 4.

“Unilaterally entering the Paris Agreement was wrong in 2016 and it’s wrong now,” Ms. Boebert said. “Responsible energy production supports more than 230,000 Colorado jobs. The Paris Agreement puts these jobs at risk and will increase energy costs. $4 per gallon gasoline, here we go again!”

Ratifying a treaty requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, which Mr. Biden would be unlikely to secure in the 50-50 Senate. 

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