Importance of Abundant Energyby Representative Mike Kelly
Posted on 2015-12-08
KELLY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I think tonight is a great
night for us all to get together. While we are very concerned about the
cost to American taxpayers and the fact that we will be going away from
our fossil fuels, which are so abundant, so accessible and so
affordable, there is another issue that takes place at the same time.
In the Paris protocol, we have heard the President say very clearly-- and he has used this many times before--that things aren't getting done at the pace that he would like and that he has a phone and he has a pen and, if Congress can't act, he will act.
Well, I would like to suggest to the President, in fact, it is kind of shocking and stunning that a former professor of constitutional law would have a total disregard for the Constitution. I would like to tell the President that the Constitution is not a suggestion. It is who we are. It is what makes us an exceptional Nation.
Now, the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change is taking place right now in Paris. It is stunning that the legacy of one man would [[Page H9069]] overshadow what is good for not only our country, but the world.
Decisions made by this President and the commitments made by this President, he looks at it as an executive decision, not as a treaty, a treaty that requires him returning to the House and to the Senate. Particularly treating this as a treaty, it would take two-thirds of the Senate to concur with whatever it is that we are proposing. Again, as I said, this is a former professor of constitutional law. Yet, he continually defies it. He makes the House irrelevant.
This is not, by the way, a Republican or Democrat issue. This is an American issue. This goes to the very framework and the very foundation of who we are as a Nation. So when you look at this, it is really hard to believe that there is such disregard.
I would just say to the President that, if you go to article II, section 2, clause 2, it is very clearly stated: ``The President . . . shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur . . .'' Again, this is an overreach by an executive. It doesn't matter if it is a Republican sitting in the White House or a Democrat sitting in the White House or an Independent or a Libertarian sitting in the White House. It clearly is defined in our Constitution how these powers work.