House panel advances spending bill with commitment to Paris climate agreement

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday advanced a spending bill that would allow the U.S. to resume contributions to a global fund that helps emerging countries deal with climate change.

The measure was approved on a 28-22 party-line vote. The House is expected to vote on the legislation next month.

The bill, backed by Democrats, removes a funding prohibition on the Green Climate Fund imposed by Republicans last year. The new legislation also prohibits the use of congressional funds to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.


President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcMaster accuses some in White House of being a ‘danger to the Constitution’ Trump predicts Dem investigation will drive him to 2020 win Trump hits O’Rourke: ‘Boy has he fallen like a rock’ MORE in 2017 promised to pull out of the landmark international emissions accord and immediately halt contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which provides billions of dollars to help developing countries meet their Paris agreement commitments. The U.S. pledged billions of dollars during the Obama administration.

Trump’s decision to withdraw also slashed U.S. contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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Former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergThe Memo: Trump taxes put new spotlight on business record Trump gets powerful new rival in Letitia James Bloomberg: Trying to legalize marijuana is ‘perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done’ MORE (D) in 2017 pledged to spend up to $15 million of his own money to mitigate the lost U.S. contributions to the two areas. He has so far donated $10 million.

The climate language in the appropriations measure is similar to that of a House-passed bill from last week — the first climate bill to pass the House in nearly a decade — that would bind the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement and direct the president to determine how the country would meet its emissions goals.

That bill, known as the Climate Action Now Act, passed on a 231-190 mostly party-line vote but is unlikely to advance in the Republican-led Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: HHS issues rule requiring drug prices in TV ads | Grassley, Wyden working on plan to cap drug costs in Medicare | Warren to donate money from family behind opioid giant Republicans rip GOP Intel decision to subpoena Trump Jr. On The Money: White House files notice of China tariff hikes | Dems cite NYT report in push for Trump tax returns | Trump hits Iran with new sanctions | Trump praises GM for selling shuttered Ohio factory | Ex-Im Bank back at full strength MORE (R-Ky.) has said it “will go nowhere,” indicating that any climate language in an appropriations bill could face a big challenge to pass in the Senate.

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