Why did President Trump reject the Paris Agreement? The Paris Agreement is a treaty, which was “never even submitted to the Senate, much less approved by the two-thirds supermajority that is supposed to protect us from bad deals,” explains Andrew C. McCarthy in NRO. Furthermore, writes Mr. McCarthy, “the swamp runneth over with signed but unratified treaties that … impose stifling obligations and international pieties on Americans. We’ve never voted for them, and our elected representatives have never voted to approve them.”
Under the Constitution, a treaty does not become law binding on the United States unless the president submits it to the Senate, obtains two-thirds approval there, and then ratifies the treaty. (Contrary to popular belief, the Senate does not ratify treaties; the president does the ratifying, but only if the Senate has consented.) That never happened to the climate agreement. It never had a chance of happening. In this instance, as in others,
President Obama conspired with his fellow transnational progressives to defeat the Constitution he had sworn to preserve, protect, and defend. He waited until late 2016, the eleventh hour of his presidency, to sign the agreement. As with the Iran deal, he had no intention of submitting it to the Senate, because there was no way it would be approved there. Because the pact would have punished American companies and workers, Obama knew that pushing Democratic senators into a vote, and boxing Hillary Clinton into a high-profile campaign debate, would have been a body blow to his party’s hopes of retaking the Senate and winning the White House.
… President Obama signed the Paris Convention, and the international community declared that Americans were duly bound, notwithstanding that our law requires Senate consent. This is why President Trump needed not just to reject the climate agreement, but to take the affirmative step of withdrawing the United States from it.
What is outrageous, however, is the presumption under which the public debate has ensued. It has never entered the discussion that the Paris pact, which would profoundly damage our economy, has never even been submitted to the Senate, much less approved by the two-thirds supermajority that is supposed to protect us from bad deals. It was just a few days ago that the Fourth Circuit’s transnational progressive jurists told us that the majesty of the Constitution forbids the president from barring potentially threatening aliens from entering our country. How is it, then, that an explicit mandate in the actual Constitution — rather than the Constitution the judges make up as they go along — is nullified?
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