The White House on Monday essentially dared Republicans to try and stop President Obama’s climate-change agenda, with officials bragging that even after the GOP takes control of the Senate in January, there is nothing that can be done to stop a host of controversial new actions.
On a conference call with reporters, White House counselor John Podesta said the administration will move ahead on the issue despite Republican efforts to stand in the way. He even called out incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name, saying the Kentucky Republican will not succeed in trying to slow executive action on global warming.
“I believe the president will complete actions. It is a top priority of his and I don’t believe they can stop us,” Mr. Podesta said. “Not withstanding Sen. McConnell making this a top priority to leave the status quo, to leave the air dirtier.”
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Last week, after Mr. Obama announced a new climate deal with China, Mr. McConnell said that reining in Environmental Protection Agency regulations would be a “top priority” in the new Congress.
Under Mr. Obama, the EPA has proposed harsh new limits on carbon emissions from power plants — regulations that have led to bipartisan accusations that the administration is waging a “war on coal.”
Last week, the president announced a new deal with China that calls on the U.S. to reduce its emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, while China merely agreed to cap its emissions by 2030.
In addition, Mr. Obama wants $3 billion in American taxpayer money to go toward a global climate fund meant to help developing countries fight against the effects of climate change.
Mr. Podesta admitted that a fight is looming with Congress over that money.
“I think we’re going to have to get up there and explain why the funds are necessary and needed and in the U.S. national interest,” he said.