GOP rep will ‘probably’ support measure to back Paris climate pact

GOP rep will ‘probably’ support measure to back Paris climate pact
© Greg Nash

A GOP lawmaker says he would likely back a Democratic-drafted resolution to show support for the Paris climate change agreement.

Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHouse Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Ensuring quality health care for those with intellectual disabilities and autism House Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad MORE (Pa.) told The Hill Thursday that he had discussed the measure with its lead sponsor, Rep. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOvernight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge House approves two bills to block Trump drilling MORE (D-Calif.), and, pending the exact wording of it, he’s probably on board.

“I’m inclined to,” he said. “Obviously I think it was a mistake to pull out. So if it’s along those lines, I probably would.”

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“If it’s basically to reverse course on what the administration did, I would support that,” he continued.

Huffman has not yet released the wording of the resolution, so Fitzpatrick said he wants to see that before committing to it.

Fitzpatrick, a centrist in multiple policy areas, has been one of the most outspoken Republicans on climate change and his belief that government policies are needed to fight it.

He joined then-Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloPelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House The Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback MORE (R-Fla.) last year as one of the original sponsors of the Modernizing America with Rebuilding to Kick-start the Economy of the Twenty-first Century with a Historic Infrastructure-Centered Expansion, or MARKET CHOICE, Act, which would put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions and use the money for infrastructure improvements.

Fitzpatrick has also been a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE’s climate policies.

Although Trump announced in 2017 he was pulling the United States out of the Paris pact, that exit cannot become official until November 2020 at the earliest.

Huffman said last week that he’s working on the non-binding resolution to show that Democrats, who just took the House majority this month, are serious about climate change, and to repudiate Trump’s decision.

“It feels like this is a sweet spot on something we can do early in this Congress that sends an important message, that will be strongly passed out of the House,” Huffman said.

He said at least one House Republican was prepared to sign on, but declined to name the lawmaker.

If the resolution gets a vote, Huffman hopes it would be an early show of force for House Democrats against Trump’s environmental agenda. It would be nearly certain to pass, since the Democrats are nearly completely united in support of the Paris agreement.

The 2015 pact was the first time that all of the world’s nearly 200 nations agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' US-Iran next moves — Déjà vu of Obama administration mistakes? Cost for last three government shutdowns estimated at billion MORE’s contribution for the United States, which is not binding, was to cut emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.