As President Obama opened negotiations with world leaders in Paris this week on a worldwide pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the effects of climate change, Republicans in Congress continue to challenge the administration’s climate agenda.
The House voted Tuesday to condemn two Environmental Protection Agency power plant emissions regulations, a centerpiece of Obama’s climate agenda that the Senate voted to repeal earlier this month. The House is also set to vote later this week on an energy infrastructure reform bill.
Republicans say their efforts are reining in administration regulations, though all three measures face vetoes from the president and are unlikely to become law.
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, said today the EPA rules the House is schedule to vote on, which set new limits on future carbon emissions, “stifle job creation,” which the White House disputes.
Republicans have also threatened to undermine the United States’ participation in a climate accord by withholding funding for global climate initiatives and threatening to oppose any proposal that could be sent to Congress for ratification.
“I don’t think that’s the best use of our money,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, told reporters Monday.
A New York Times/CBS News poll released Monday found that two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international deal to address climate change. But House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, disputed today that congressional Republicans were out of step with the American public.
“I don’t think we’re out of step with public opinion wanting jobs, wanting economic growth,” Ryan said. “When you weigh the costs and benefits against these so-called legally binding obligations, they don’t add up.”