CORONADO, Calif. — Vulnerable Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) says he agrees in principle with President Obama's moves toward bypassing Congress and looking for an international climate change deal.
Peters said it's "news to me" Wednesday afternoon when asked about the administration's conversations at the United Nations about a deal that would seek to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but said he supported presidential action because Congress has failed to act.
"The issue is of great importance. The best thing Congress could do is deal with it. And the guy is the president of the United States, if Congress isn't dealing with it I don't think we should expect him to sit on the sidelines and ignore it," Peters told The Hill as he exited a Rotary Club meeting in the wealthy island community off the coast of San Diego.
"My preference is that Congress would deal with it. But I can't get votes on immigration, which ought to be easy, let alone sensible energy policy that would deal with climate," Peters, who leads a House climate task force continued.
"I believe the president would sincerely prefer to work with Congress and come up with strategies to deal with climate ... if Congress is going to insist, and the leadership in the [House] majority is going to insist on not doing anything about it you can't expect the president who's been elected by the rest of the people to just sit idle. I don't think it's very surprising, and under the circumstances it's the right thing to do."
Peters, a former environmental lawyer, is facing a tough race against former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio (R). Unlike some other Democrats in tough races he's long championed environment issues in the more upscale, urban district, though he's found separation from President Obama and Democrats on some other economic issues.