Some Western Republicans have launched a longshot bid to block President Biden’s executive orders to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and revoking the permit for the Keystone pipeline.
The lawmakers, many from big energy-producing states, plan to introduce two pieces of legislation that would give Congress a say in the decisions.
“I urge President Biden to do what the Obama administration refused to do and submit the Paris Agreement to the Senate for consideration as required under the Constitution,” Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Daines to introduce bill awarding Congressional Gold Medal to troops killed in Afghanistan Powell reappointment to Fed chair backed by Yellen: report MORE (R-Mont.) said in a release, calling the agreement “a poorly negotiated, fatally flawed treaty that represents a bad deal for American families everywhere.”
The executive order signed by Biden, the third of 17 that he signed on his first day in office, will formally recommit the U.S. to the global agreement in 30 days, ending the U.S. status as the only country in the world not participating in the deal.
He also put forth an order that revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that allowed it to cross the U.S.-Canada border and also carried out other environmental actions.
In press releases on Thursday, the Republican lawmakers said they intended to introduce a resolution calling on Biden to submit the Paris Climate Agreement to Congress for approval before rejoining.
The lawmakers said they would introduce a bill authorizing the continued construction of the controversial pipeline.
“President Biden’s executive order will rob both American and Canadian workers of good-paying jobs,” said Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoInterior reverses Trump, moves BLM headquarters back to DC Lobbying world A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate MORE (Wyo.), who is the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “President Biden’s actions will not end our need for oil from our strongest ally, Canada. Instead, it will cost jobs, result in more shipments of oil by rail and make America even more vulnerable to OPEC and foreign adversaries, like Russia.”
Sens. Mike Crapo (Idaho), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act before slow mail turns into no mail Kaine says he has votes to pass Iraq War repeal in Senate Seven-figure ad campaign urges GOP to support infrastructure bill MORE (Kan.), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallKansas approves using M in federal funds to increase nurses' pay Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear Kansas Republican asks for investigation into ESPN's role in Texas and Oklahoma moving to SEC MORE (Kan.) and Barrasso all signed on to both pieces of legislation.
Each piece of legislation would face an uphill battle in the Democratically-controlled chamber, where Vice President Harris will serve as the key tie-breaker vote.
Former President Obama angered lawmakers in 2016 when he joined the deal without securing Senate approval, something Daines and others argue violates Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution which calls for a two-thirds vote from the upper chamber when entering into treaties.
But the Paris deal allowed countries to set their own commitments to the deal, rather than enter into a more formal agreement, something the Obama administration viewed as allowing the U.S. to join the deal without Senate approval.
While the deal was opposed by many Republicans, some Western Republicans had advised former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE not to withdraw from the accord.
“I have always thought rejoining the Accord could be a success and a unifying moment if the President and his team do it the right way. Abandoning our leadership on the world stage only benefits our competitors, though being on the world stage and just caving to them is even worse,” Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Memo: Biden beats Trump again — this time in the Senate The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill Republicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory MORE (R-N.D.) said in a statement.
“If President Biden reworks our pledge then defends American interests, protects taxpayer dollars, and focuses on bipartisan areas of agreement like nuclear energy or carbon capture utilization and storage, it will prove to be a prudent move that can garner the support of the American people,” he added.