WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the lone Republican in a group of 59 House lawmakers supporting a symbolic rebuke of President Trump’s international climate change policies.
Fitzpatrick, a moderate Republican whose Bucks County-based 1st District is a key electoral battleground in 2020, joined dozens of Democrats to introduce a resolution opposing Trump’s stated plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The non-binding resolution wouldn’t have the force to keep Trump in the deal, but would serve as a public declaration that lawmakers disagree with the president’s move.
The 2-page resolution states that “the challenge of climate change requires a global effort,” and that the goals set by the 2015 Paris accord “are not only achievable but necessary in order to move towards a pathway to limit temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.”
It concludes, “Congress reaffirms its commitment to the Paris Agreement and that the United States is still in and should not withdraw.”
Trump said after taking office that the United States would exit the pact, reversing the 2015 pledge made by the Obama administration. But the United States can’t technically withdraw from the deal until Nov. 5, 2020, the day after the presidential election.
Fitzpatrick, who’s distanced himself from the president, urged Trump to stay in the deal before the administration announced the withdrawal. Fitzpatrick said in 2017 that the challenge of climate change “must be addressed proactively and head on,” and that “a renegotiation is a better option and will benefit our nation in the long run.”
Two Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers also signed on to the resolution: U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District, and freshman U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District.