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Politico: Paris bill teed up for debate

Washington, April 30, 2019
TEED UP FOR DEBATE: The House Rules Committee on Monday cleared the way for floor debate later this week on the first climate bill of the new Congress.

The bill — which lawmakers will begin consideration of Wednesday — would bar U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord, as President Donald Trump has pledged to do, and would require the administration to outline a plan to meet its emissions reduction commitments under that agreement within 120 days. The Rules Committee made in order 26 Democratic amendments for H.R. 9 (116), while steering clear of all but three exclusively Republican offerings. Some highlights:

— An amendment from Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) stating the legislation does not require or prohibit the inclusion of any energy source in the president's plan for meeting the U.S. emissions reduction pledge.

— A bid from Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) to invite public comment on the president's plan before its submission to Congress.

— Two amendments from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.): One would declare the agreement a treaty that should be subject to Senate ratification, while the other would attempt to strike out the meat of the legislation — language barring the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord.

— A bipartisan amendment requiring GAO to evaluate the impact of the president's plans on U.S. territories.

— An amendment from New Hampshire's House delegation requiring a report on the impact of the Paris agreement on rural clean energy jobs.

— Various findings: Over half the amendments add language about everything from environmental justice, sea level rise, the importance of clean energy jobs, public health, food security and adaptation.

Hot doc: Read the document approved Monday by the Rules Committee here.

For the record: White House advisers would recommend Trump veto the legislation should it reach his desk. Read the statement here.

As Pro's Zack Colman breaks down this morning, proposed Republican amendments ran the gamut of familiar Republican complaints about a federal climate agenda, while some others angled to keep the focus on areas of Democratic division over what to do about climate change and whether to endorse a Green New Deal.