05.02.19

McConnell: Ill-Fated Paris Deal Will Go Nowhere in the Senate

‘I understand that House Democrats are planning to pass a measure today that would try to force the Trump Administration to remain in the 2015 Paris agreement on greenhouse emissions. This is the big international deal that the Obama Administration cheered on… Tons of red tape and real economic damage for zero measurable effect.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding an effort from House Democrats to remain in the Obama-era Paris agreement on greenhouse gas emissions:

“As I’ve mentioned, there’s been a remarkable development this week in the House. The Rules Committee held the first hearing to discuss ‘Medicare for None.’ It was another demonstration of how disconnected my Democratic colleagues’ agenda has become from the best interests of working Americans and middle-class families.

“The last two years have been a case study in how much American families benefit when Republican policies get the government out of the way. Helped along by tax reform, regulatory reform, and other efforts, the country is seeing historically low unemployment, faster wage growth — more opportunities for more families to get ahead and build their lives. But rather than admit the obvious, my Democratic colleagues are choosing to double and triple down on jacking taxes back up and making families cede a larger role for Washington in their daily lives.

“We’ve heard the pitch on healthcare. They want to trade seniors’ Medicare and all private, employer-sponsored health insurance plans for a one-size-fits-all federal plan and the higher taxes needed to pay for it. Just yesterday, a new report from the CBO confirmed that such a scheme would substantially -- substantially -- increase federal spending and could lead to longer wait times, worse quality of care, and a less responsive system to patient needs.

“On top of that, we know what our Democratic colleagues have tried to sell middle-class families when it comes to the Green New Deal: A Washington D.C. war on our domestic energy industry that would cost Americans their jobs and increase families’ bills. Forcibly change the homes Americans are allowed to live in, the industries they’re allowed to work in, and the cars they’re allowed to drive.

“Let’s remember that all of this self-inflicted economic pain would not really buy any meaningful gains in terms of carbon emissions. For the better part of the last decade, as U.S. emissions actually declined, our largest competitors, like China, continued to emit more and more. Hogtying the U.S. economy in the name of further emissions reductions would do nothing but give the world’s largest emitters license to keep on emitting while poaching American jobs in the process.

“So, I don’t think real progress is actually the point here. Facts are not the motivating factor. My colleagues on the left think these self-inflicted national injuries just feel like this greening of America is the right thing to do. Case in point. I understand that House Democrats are planning to pass a measure today that would try to force the Trump Administration to remain in the 2015 Paris agreement on greenhouse emissions.

“This is the big international deal that the Obama Administration cheered on. But it doesn’t even pass the laugh test. One expert analysis noted this week that even a generous estimate puts the impact of America’s participation on global temperature reduction well within the margin of error: one-hundredth of one degree Celsius. In other words, he points out, a completely unmeasurable effect.

“Tons of red tape and real economic damage for zero measurable effect. That’s my friends across the aisle in a nutshell on this issue. Tie America’s own hands for no benefit, while China and our other international competitors go roaring right by. All so a few pockets of high society can pat themselves on the back. House Democrats may see this as exciting political theater. But the middle-class Americans I represent give it two thumbs down. So this futile gesture to handcuff the U.S. economy through the ill-fated Paris deal will go nowhere here in the Senate. We’re in the business of actually helping middle-class families, not inventing new obstacles to throw in their paths.”

 

Related Issues: Energy, Health Care