Surprise of surprises! The Obama administration denied Wednesday that it intends to bypass Congress in order to go straight to the United Nations in forming a global agreement to reduce climate change:
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “it is entirely premature to say whether it will or won’t require Senate approval” since the officials haven’t even begun to write a United Nations climate change agreement to reduce international greenhouse gas emissions.
Psaki’s comments followed a report in The New York Times that said President Obama is working on a voluntary international agreement on climate that would not technically be a treaty, and not require two-thirds of the Senate to ratify.
The report said the agreement would include binding commitments from a previous treaty with new voluntary commitments, which would allow it to skip ratification by the Senate.
Psaki said that the administration is committed to tackling climate change, but suggested a new deal could go to the Senate.
“Our goal is to negotiate a successful and effective global climate agreement that can help address this pressing challenge,” Psaki said in a statement. “Anything that is eventually negotiated and that should go to the Senate will go to the Senate.”
She promised that the Obama administration would consult with Congress on the issue.
How many other times has the Obama administration promised it would consult with Congress? And how many other times has it actually done so? Hm.