Editor’s Note: Invoking the Constitution just never occurs to them does it?
Why? Because if they ever do their house of cards, and their usurped powers, fall apart.
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States
which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties
made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States,
shall be the supreme Law of the Land…” Article. VI, Clause 2
Senate Republicans emphasized Wednesday that they will fight the Obama administration for the right to review an international climate deal expected to be struck in Paris next month.
At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, GOP lawmakers insisted they should be able to review and vote on a deal that would commit every nation to combat climate change, and they threatened to withhold U.S. money that would help other countries implement their plans.
“I want to make clear to this administration and to foreign leaders looking for U.S. dollars — which is the linchpin of this agreement — that without Senate approval there will be no money, period,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
Officials representing United Nations member states will gather in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to negotiate an international agreement for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas emitted from coal and other fossil fuels.
To avoid the objection of congressional Republicans, the Obama administration has indicated it plans to negotiate the deal in a way where it would not be submitted to Congress as a legally binding treaty, which must be approved by two-thirds of the Senate.
Under the plan, reported by the New York Times, countries would be legally mandated to implement climate change policies, and possibly agree to a timetable to do so. But the countries would only voluntarily commit to specific amounts of emissions reductions.
The Obama administration would argue that the broad pledges by countries to address climate change by reducing emissions — without committing to specific levels — is already legally protected under an existing 1992 treaty.
By not making the deal legally binding, the Obama administration would essentially be agreeing to a “political commitment” or “sole executive agreement”, according to Julian Ku, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra University, who testified at the hearing.
“I believe the Paris agreement should be submitted to the Senate as a treaty if it has legally binding emissions targets and timetables,” Ku told lawmakers. “But I do not have a constitutional objection if the agreement is merely a political commitment that is not binding under international law, as long as the U.S. government declares which parts of the agreement are legally binding, and which parts are not. The Senate can play an important role by forcing clarity and transparency from the administration.”
Ku said future presidents would not need to adhere to the agreement if it were not legally binding.
“A sole executive agreement is the weakest commitment we can make,” Ku said. “There are a lot of them, but they are usually for small things. If other presidents withdraw from the agreement, there is a cost to it, because other countries get upset about that. That’s why the use of an executive agreement has to be done carefully.”
Democratic members of the committee argue there’s plenty of precedent for a president to adopt executive agreements without Senate consent, and that the urgency of the…