National Journal on Possible Trump Submission of Paris Climate Treaty to Senate

Reposted From Government Accountability & Oversight


Brian Dabbs @BRIANDABBS Dec. 22, 2020, 8 p.m.

Speaking at a virtual G-20 summit last month, President Trump championed his decision to bow out of the Paris climate accord.

“I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris climate accord, a very unfair act for the United States,” Trump told leaders of the globe’s biggest economies, all of whom are currently party to the pact.“It was designed to kill the American economy,” he said.

Only months after taking office in 2017, Trump, accompanied by then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, launched the Paris withdrawal process to conservative fanfare in the White House Rose Garden. According to the terms of the pact, the U.S. formalized that withdrawal a day after Americans wrapped up voting in the 2020 electoral cycle.

But now conservative critics of the accord, both on and off Capitol Hill, want more from Trump in the waning weeks of his presidency…The push for Trump to submit the ratification documents is sparking a messaging war over whether it would actually have any legal bearing on Biden’s engagement with the pact.

Paris supporters say the move wouldn’t carry legal weight, but conservative attorneys argue it would hamstring Biden’s justification for regulatory measures at the EPA and other agencies designed to pare down greenhouse-gas emissions.

“Transmitting Paris as the treaty it is thoroughly neuters any of the certain 2021 claims that Paris is the reason for EPA to do anything, or for any ruling that we are compelled to undertake any particular action or inaction,” said Chris Horner, a longtime Washington D.C. attorney and current board member at Government Accountability & Oversight, a nonprofit conservative law firm.

“Any claim that Paris compels U.S. action or inaction would now confront doubt that a U.S. commitment to Paris was anything but a political commitment,”

Horner said. “The commitment will not be ‘settled’ but inarguably ambiguous and obviously weakened. It is a political question, and transmittal severely undermines adventurous courts or commissions from the desired and otherwise certain rulings grounded in that Paris commitment.”

Read the entire piece here.

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Tom Halla
December 26, 2020 10:32 am

While some judges have tried to enforce Obama’s executive order past the time he left office, and the subsequent administration reversed the policy, a formal rejection of the Paris Accords by the Senate would have at least some effect. Figuratively burying the Accords in a crossroads with a stake through its heart might actually convince some people it is dead.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 26, 2020 5:27 pm

Formal rejection (less than a 2/3 approval vote) is not necessary. Since 1947, there are over 30 treaties the President has submitted to the Senate, still pending a US Senate vote. Those treaties are dead in the water unless the Senate specifically approves them. Not taking up a vote in the Senate is by precedent the same as not getting 2/3 majority approval.

Obama declaring it an agreement and not a Treaty in order to justify side-stepping submitting the Paris Agreement to the US Senate for approval suffers one huge fatal flaw.
That fatal flaw is the requirement for the US Government to send public (US government) monies, money taken from the People and appropriated by Congress for other things,to the UN Climate Aid fund. One can argue the Paris Agreement INDCs (emissions reductions) were “voluntary” and thus had no requirement for a Treaty, that was Obama’s main argument. But the US Government money sent to the UN for the IPCCC Climate Aid Fund is another matter entirely.

That made Obama’s sending $1 Billion to the Climate Aid fund clearly an illegal act, and one worthy of impeachment for both a high crime and a failure to faithfully execute the laws as required of the President and all Executive branch officers.

If Dementia Joe (or Prez Commie Kamala) sends US government funds to the Climate Aid Fund per Paris Agreement without the US Senate approving the Paris Deal, then they must be impeached. And the US Congress after 2022 mid-term elections is likely to be in GOP control, both House and Senate. Dementia Joe should tread lightly on illegally trying to re-enter the Paris Agreement. Obama got a way with it because he did that in his last few months in office, and thus knowing he wouldn’t be impeached.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joel O’Bryan
December 26, 2020 10:34 am

Whether it’s successful or not it’s worth the try.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  markl
December 26, 2020 11:12 am

Precisely markl. If it doesn’t work, okay nothing changes . It does looks like it should keep the woke judges from ruling on what obligations the EPA has in taking its cues from the anti-American UN if there is no treaty with the US.

Ron Long
December 26, 2020 10:36 am

The whole concept of submitting the Paris Agreement to the US Senate for verification, required for binding Treaties, has been brought up by several persons/NGO’s. If it keeps the Biden administration from simply rejoining by Executive Order (which is what President Obama did as he knew it was DOA in US Senate), I’m all in favor of it. Maybe the importance of the Georgia Senate race looms even larger?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Ron Long
December 26, 2020 11:51 am

The problem is, Paris is NOT binding, in two ways. Commitments have no teeth, and opt out which the President used. Submitting it to the Senate is pointless since it isn’t a treaty. Thinking a lame duck pointless veto woild somehow deter activist judges is wishful fuzzy thinking.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 26, 2020 1:02 pm

Would not the Biden Dem’s (EPA) just trundle along as if it were a treaty, much like they did with Obama’s executive order in to Paris

Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 26, 2020 1:17 pm


In the case that Donald J Trump ends up nominated and then elected as the next President of USA in the 6th of January,
what would you say the chances of success for class law cases against Big Tech and Big MSM will be, in consideration of reparation and damages that many many Americans have incurred and suffered due to the forceful actions of public smearing, character assassination, wide spread censoring etc., based on the false claim of Biden being officially the President Elect?

In such a case could Biden, Harris and their Campaign plus DNC face the same?

What about people like Chris Horner, a longtime Washington D.C. attorney?
Should also such people like Horner that are expected to be well versed in the law of the land be subject too, as in the clause of submitted collaboration and support to such unlawful actions against the interest and the life of the People?

Reply to  whiten
December 26, 2020 2:21 pm

The problem is we would need 100% of the Republican senators to vote in favor of this. That will never happen. Too many of them would rather work with Democrats than Trump.

Dan Kelly
Reply to  MarkW
December 26, 2020 2:58 pm

Treaties require 2/3 majority for Senate to ratify. Quite a few Republicans could defect and the Paris accord would still be defeated. Very unlikely it would be ratified. It would still only be symbolic. Biden could do whatever he could otherwise do by executive order and just not cite the the Paris accord as justification.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Dan Kelly
December 26, 2020 4:00 pm

Executive orders can be challenged in court and President Trump has appointed a record number of judges, all with a more conservative bent. Plus the Supreme Court currently will rule based on the Constitution and not on the DNC platform.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
December 26, 2020 5:48 pm

The Biden Admin DOJ would argue “standing” is lacking to challenge his EO in Court. You have to be a “harmed party” to challenge the EO in court.

Reply to  MarkW
December 26, 2020 3:13 pm

Thanks for your reply MarkW.

“100% of the Republican senators to vote in favor of this.”

I am not sure what you mean or imply by “this”.

If you mean “this” as the act to be in favor of an objection against the electoral vote “process” in Congress on 6th of January;

then as things stand up to now, there is no any valid grounds for any kind of objections against the electoral votes then on the 6th on the premise of the contest of the 7 states that have cast dual votes… by any side whatsoever.
Such objections will clearly lack grounds… as per Election Law by the Constitution.

No valid grounds for any kind of objection against dual votes… by any kind of approach, on the 6th of January, as that will consist solely with one single meaning-stand and aim…
as an objection against USA Constitution and the Election Law as per the Constitution…
…non permissible.

As things stand at this moment, according to electoral votes cast,
Donald is the President Elect, as it has more than Biden.
On the 6th all votes before Congress are valid and legit,
all electoral votes are equal in that day, period, as per USA Constitution…
where and when some can not under any circumstance be more equal than other(s).
Either all votes stand for a counting or all votes fall and no counting at all.
But Constitution does not permit contest of dual votes…
therefor no any objection has grounds in proposition of a contest against the 7 states that have dual votes.

Oh well you might have meant some else with the “this” there… 🙂


Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  whiten
December 26, 2020 5:35 pm

Rudd, Did you sleep thru Constitutional Law at HLS?
The INDCs may be voluntary, but the public money sent to the UN Climate Aid Fund was an illegal act by Obama.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 26, 2020 7:18 pm

That’s the problem with the Biden Administration: It’s made up of the same criminals that made up the Obama administration.

These people will violate the law to get what they want, and will use the power of the Federal government to get it done. Shooting down the Paris Climate Agreement in the U.S. Senate won’t stop these lawless Democrats from taking some other avenue to accomplish their purpose.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 27, 2020 5:18 am

Yes, that is correct. Having the Paris Agreement formally rejected would merely remove one of the myriad fig leaves that the Harris Administration will have at its disposal to hide the illegitimate actions that they will surely take. It would be a political gesture resulting at most in a slight inconvenience to them.

The question is, as political theater, would this help or hurt? Suppose that 51 Senators vote in favor. Although 16 short of ratification, will CNN and the New York Times not refer to a majority in favor of climate action? Will MSNBC and the Washington Post not rail against the archaic anti-democratic Constitution that vests the minority with the power to thwart urgent action even in the face of this existential threat?

Submission of the Paris Agreement as a treaty may make sense if that is the extent of it. A treaty, not ratified has no force of law. Legally, we get the same effect if it is quietly submitted without taking a vote. The propaganda surrounding a lame duck vote would likely benefit the warmunists and easily be spun as an illegitimate stunt.

If the Senate remains in Republican control and action is taken on it after the Harris Administration takes some unpopular executive action that causes a majority to see that “climate action” is going to hurt their interests, then a vote might have positive political impact.

Submit, but hold off on the vote.

Reply to  Rich Davis
December 27, 2020 9:26 am


I do not mean to be upsetting,
but have you ever “heard” about the story of the whore or the prostitute been wholly concerned and given prone to her makeup facing a mirror all day long when in the same time the “kingdom” was literally burning down to ashes?

Does this sound too upsetting or wrong to you?

Rich Davis
Reply to  whiten
December 27, 2020 11:09 am

You are mistaken to think that attention to politics is akin to prostitution. It is also so thoughtful of you to be concerned that I would be upset by having you compare me to a whore. What do you propose as an alternative, though, a civil war? Physical violence?

The left has won a political battle, not the war. The next battles will also be political in nature. If the Constitution means anything at all, we must have the support of a majority to prevail on our policy preferences.

In the realm of politics, it is not a question of who is right. It is a question of who is seen to be right by the majority. The propaganda media is always able to spread their lies and suppress the truth. The best we can hope for is to make it difficult for them to convince the public of their lies. This is done by working with public opinion and not handing the enemy easy talking points.

There is no time left to rally the Georgia Senator run-offs around a promise to oppose Paris. There is not even reason to believe that opposition to Paris would be a net positive, leading to Republican victories.

At the moment, not enough people realize how much they will be harmed by the Green New Deal. No Democrats are going to change their vote because of a promise to oppose Paris, but many may be motivated to vote against that promise. At the same time, there are some Republicans who are deluded into believing that some kind of “moderate” climate action is needed. I guess it might be a net negative once CNN and the rest have finished twisting the story.

Holding a last-minute lame duck session to reject ratification of Paris only aids the opposition. From a Constitutional perspective, once submitted, the unratified treaty’s status is null and void whether a vote is taken or not. In the unlikely event that a Supreme Court ruling depends on the status of the treaty, holding a show vote that plays into the opposition’s hands adds nothing.

Holding such a vote after an unpopular action taken by the Harris administration could rally public support and act as a kind of referendum and rallying point in the midterm elections. In that case it could be meaningful. In reality it will never deter the Harris administration on its own. It can only ever serve us symbolically.

Reply to  Rich Davis
December 27, 2020 4:02 pm


Come on body, you know I did not compare you to a whore or prostitute.

Just kinda of not able to resist the teasing…
oh well so I think! 🙂
It felt like proper.

It was put more like in subjective manner of meaning than objective…
but hey, glad to know that you are not upset about it. 🙂


Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 26, 2020 1:33 pm

I was surprised to find out how many international agreements don’t need Senate approval.

Would it not mean something for the Senate to unambiguously take ownership of the issue?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 26, 2020 2:20 pm

Whether the treaty is binding or not isn’t relevant. What is relevant is what the courts will do. Liberal judges will declare that guidelines are binding, even if the treaty itself doesn’t say so.

December 26, 2020 10:41 am

Send the treaty to the Senate so it is waiting for them. Let the Senate vote it down and we are done with it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Philo
December 26, 2020 5:43 pm

“Vote it down” is merely not getting 2/3 majority approval. A treaty sent to the US Senate and never given a vote is, by precedent, the same thing as not getting 2/3rd approval.

Burl Henry
December 26, 2020 11:20 am

Warming due to the accumulation of “greenhouse gasses” in the atmosphere is the greatest HOAX in the history of mankind. Anything that can be done to halt this madness needs to be done!

December 26, 2020 11:20 am

There can be no ambiguity whatsoever. To long petroleum interests have guided our country’s policies. But we cannot afford to be hoodwinked by Charlatans, especially when we know better….

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  taoofrob
December 26, 2020 11:24 am

“To long” seems to have some ambiguity in itself.

Charlatan is in the Malibu Stakes today at Santa Anita.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 26, 2020 11:46 am

That’s “too funny” my family used to have two horses with I was growing up Challenge (my sisters prize winning steed) and Too Late my old mare. She was a beautiful horse.

Reply to  taoofrob
December 26, 2020 2:22 pm

Care to provide some evidence to back up your paranoid ramblings?

Reply to  MarkW
December 27, 2020 2:33 pm

I’ll admit it was a bit sanctimonious. Sure look up statistical data that being compiled. Watch Richard Attenboroughs recent project on Netflix. You don’t have to be a f*cking hippie to care about what happens as a direct result of your actions

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  taoofrob
December 26, 2020 5:57 pm

Taoofrob, do you like to eat? Buy nice foods at the grocery store? Travel to see family?

I filled up my Chevy Silverado today with 21 gallons of petroleum-derived fuel. That fuel allows me to do lots of things I couldn’t do, even with an EV, like pull a heavy RV trailer. I bought food and fresh produce (in the middle of winter) at the grocery store today also. Produce grown and transported from along ways away to that store using petroleum products at every step.

So I have “petroleum interests” like traveling and eating. Taoofrob, do you like to eat?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 27, 2020 11:33 am

Those resources could be more renewable, but I get it there’s also plastics & other Petroleum products & the economies they support. Unfortunately its not sustainable, the cost/benefits for humans et al is too steep. Look at the data man

December 26, 2020 12:08 pm

Whom even writes these 5,000 page documents ??
Are there spell checkers, fact checkers, or do they just assume their interns have inserted the correct language to keep the checks coming?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  u.k.(us)
December 26, 2020 6:41 pm


December 26, 2020 1:59 pm

Ok, I get the thought, but since when is a treaty deemed enforceable until the Senate rejects it?

Reply to  Kazinski
December 26, 2020 2:23 pm

Since the Obama administration.

Bruce Cobb
December 27, 2020 5:29 am

Sorry but, TraitorTrump simply has no interest in doing that, so it is wishful thinking. He simply doesn’t give a sheet now about much of anything, except continuing his lies about a “stolen election”. He’s a disgrace to himself, to his the presidency, and to his country now.

Bill T
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 27, 2020 6:12 am

Your lobotomy was a success!

Mickey Reno
December 27, 2020 7:04 am

Under Joe Biden, the practice of Sue and Settle will return with a vengeance. That is very troubling aspect of the far left’s climate/Socialist agenda.

December 27, 2020 3:08 pm

It’s seems to me that after five years, the EU effort has been poor to say the least. I cannot imagine further genuine interest in perpetuating this attack on what remains of the industrial west. While the west has offshored its industry to China, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, etc., those good middle class earnings have disappeared only to be replaced with low paying service industry jobs. We’ve traded our fabricators for baristas… and the global temperature hasn’t yet dropped to our utopian preindustrial.
To compound this scientific and local economic failure, people like Klaus Röhrig, EU Climate Policy Coordinator for Climate Action Network Europe suggest that the failure can only be redeemed by increasing (the original was 40% emissions reduction goal), the Paris Accord 55% emissions reductions goal to 65%.

“The science says to honour the goals in the Paris Agreement, Europe needs to cut its emissions by 65% by 2030, not the 55% that was agreed today, argues Röhrig.”

Edward Katz
December 27, 2020 6:03 pm

This whole issue is one of the reasons for the importance of the GOP to keep its Senate majority; otherwise, the Democrats will try to ram this costly yet ineffectual climate action agenda down the throats of American taxpayers. If successful, other countries like Canada and Australia will feel pressure to follow suit. So Georgia voters need to back the Republicans on Jan. 5.

Reply to  Edward Katz
December 30, 2020 10:14 pm

Agreed. The Democrats are going all-out to capture those seats, and thus the Senate, and ethics do not constrain them. They’ll do anything they can get away with. Here’s a California Democrat shamelessly, brazenly lying to a potential Georgia voter:

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