Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Mike Kelly will introduce resolutions saying President Barack Obama should submit an international climate deal for Senate approval.
The measure will be filed as a “concurrent resolution,” meaning it represents the views of both chambers of Congress, but is non-binding, so it does not function as a law or require approval of the president.
Indeed, the resolution is meant more as a messaging vehicle to pressure Obama to submit the climate deal as a treaty. The House and Senate must both pass the resolution.
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., is filing an identical resolution in the House.
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.
According to a report in the New York Times, the Obama administration will argue that the agreement can be produced as an executive agreement, and not a treaty, because it is already legally protected under a 1992 United Nations climate change treaty.