Congress Votes To Block President Obama's Climate Change Measures

President Barack Obama giving a speech

While President Barack Obama visited Paris on Dec. 1 to work towards reaching an international agreement to fight climate change, the House of Representatives passed two resolutions to block the president's severe cuts in American power plants' greenhouse gas emissions.

With a 242-180 vote approval, the House passed a measure blocking an Environmental Protection Agency rule for existing power plants as well as one on future power plants with a 235-188 vote, the Huffington Post reports.

One month ago, the Senate approved two similar measures, invoking a law that allows Congress to block executive actions that it determines impose an undue burden. The measure will now need Obama's approval, though he will almost certainly veto them.

The votes fell largely upon party lines, with only four Democrats siding with Republicans in support of the bills. Congress will be unable override a veto at this time, since the vote fell far below the required two thirds majority.

Many of the Republicans opposed to Obama's actions have said that his new policies will reduce jobs, increase electricity costs and make the U.S. energy supply far less reliable.

"I think when you weigh the costs and the benefits against these so-called legally binding obligations they don't add up," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters. "I think it's very clear people want jobs."

Others, such as Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, denounced Obama's climate change work and criticized him for focusing on what he called a "pseudoscientific threat" when "radical jihadists" comprise a much more pressing danger.

On the other end of things, Democrats argued that global climate change is already severely damaging the nation by creating droughts, wildfires, floods and harsher storms.

"What we should be doing here is providing some wind at the back of not only our president, but of all the leaders of the world who are gathering to try to figure out how to deal with this challenge," Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts said on the House floor, according to CNN.

Sources: Huffington Post, / Photo Credit: Peter Stevens/Flickr

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