GOP Senators Escalate Climate Battle

Posted December 17, 2009 at 3:03pm

Senate Republicans sharply escalated their rhetorical attacks on the Obama administration’s handling of climate change Thursday, warning that the White House will need Senate approval of any international agreements and reiterating their intentions to block new Environmental Protection Agency controls on carbon emissions.

During a press conference in the Capitol Thursday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and other Republicans pointed to a series of statements by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as indicating the White House is attempting to enter into agreements without first gaining Senate approval.

The administration’s activities at the climate change talks in Copenhagen have “raised concerns on our part that the president may believe that he has the authority to bind the United States to some kind of international agreement without action by the United States Senate,— Kyl said. “Any action that would be binding on the United States, in the form of any international agreement, will of course have to be ratified by the United States Senate.—

“We are not going to permit the president or anyone else to go around making commitments to the world as to what the United States will do in the future, without an appreciation of the fact that those agreements will have to come back to the United States Senate for ratification,— said Kyl, who also accused the EPA of attempting to write new law in moving forward with the process of regulating carbon dioxide.

Kyl accused the EPA of attempting “to appropriate to themselves the power to make laws that govern the people of the United States without the United States Congress acting.—

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) agreed, accusing the EPA of trying to force Congress’ hand while reiterating her intention to use the Congressional Review Act’s “resolution of disapproval— mechanism to block EPA’s regulatory development process. “The administration is, through the use of the EPA, trying to strong-arm Congress into passing economically harmful legislation by threatening to impose economically harmful regulations,— Murkowski said.