House Democrats Wednesday introduced legislation to bar President Donald Trump from ditching the Paris climate accord and force the White House to submit a plan to slash carbon emissions, drawing praise from environmental groups.
"Donald Trump's attempt to withdraw the United States from this landmark agreement is one of his most egregious steps to weaken our country's international standing."
—Michael Brune, Sierra Club
"The Climate Action Now Act sends a powerful message to the rest of the world that when it comes to climate change and the Paris agreement, President Trump is out of step with the strong majority of Americans who want the U.S. to be a global leader, not a rogue nation," Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement.
The bill (pdf), also known as H.R. 9, comes nearly two years after Trump sparked global outrage by declaring his intent to withdraw from the Paris deal. Under the terms of the agreement, the earliest possible withdrawal date is November 4, 2020.
If passed, the Democrats' legislation would block Trump from using federal funds to pull the U.S. from the Paris deal and require the president to develop a plan to meet the accord's emissions targets.
The bill was unveiled at a press conference Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), and other House Democrats.
#ClimateActionNow Act is an important first step against one of the most irresponsible and dangerous decisions made by President Trump. Thanks @USRepKCastor for introducing #HR9! pic.twitter.com/WJovkNI2Bp
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Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club, said in a statement that the legislation is an example of "what climate leadership looks like."
"While Donald Trump and Washington Republicans continue to stick their heads in the sand, congressional Democrats are continuing to make the case for bold climate action," Brune said. "Donald Trump's attempt to withdraw the United States from this landmark agreement is one of his most egregious steps to weaken our country's international standing."
Watch Democrats' press conference: