President Obama reportedly plans to do an end-run around Congress to forge an international climate change deal, effectively bypassing the Constitution's requirement to get the Senate's approval for a treaty.
The New York Times reported that the agreement is slated to be signed at a United Nations meeting next year in Paris. However, because the U.S. Senate is unlikely to ratify any international climate treaty, Obama’s negotiators reportedly are working toward an alternative agreement – a “politically binding” deal that would serve in lieu of a bona-fide treaty.
One expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council told the Times “there’s some legal and political magic to this.”
The developments underscore the administration’s dim chances of being able to rally the constitutionally mandated two-thirds majority in the Senate to ratify a new international treaty. But at a time when the House already is suing the president over his alleged abuse of executive power, the move to go around Congress is likely to strike a nerve with lawmakers.
"Once again, the president is trying to go around Congress and ignore Americans who cannot afford more expensive, extreme energy regulations," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said in a statement.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the White House has engaged in this kind of behavior, though an executive order is usually the weapon of choice. Do you want to put a stop to it? A Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that limit the White House's power to issue executive orders and other sorts of "end-runs" around Congress.