Lee Calls on Congress to Assert Constitutional Powers Ahead of Climate Talks

November 4, 2015

WASHINGTON – Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) called on Congress to assert its constitutional powers ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate-change negotiations in Paris.

“First, the House and Senate should take up and pass a joint resolution expressing the sense of Congress that an agreement of the cost and legal character contemplated by the Obama administration in Paris should be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent,” Lee said.
“The purpose of this resolution would not be to oppose the president’s plans on the merits,” Lee continued, “but simply to make explicit that which has been implicit in every other previous climate-change negotiation.”
Lee also identified the “power of the purse” as another constitutional power Congress should use to make sure President Obama does not commit the United States to a climate-change agreement in Paris without seeking the Senate’s advice and consent.
“Members of both chambers and from both parties have a constitutional duty to assert with one voice that Congress will not send a dime of taxpayer money to the implementation of any agreement to which the Senate has not provided its advice and consent,” Lee said.
“That goes for the billions of dollars that President Obama has pledged to send to the so-called ‘Green Climate Fund.’ And it goes for any other funds that the Paris agreement would expect the United States to give to developing countries for clean-energy adaptation,” Lee continued.
Negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are set to begin in Paris on November 30 and will run through December 11.