More than 100 House Republican lawmakers are seeking to block President Obama's plan to use taxpayer dollars to fund a climate change deal in Paris next week.
A letter led by Virginia Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith, including 110 House members, was sent to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., and the committee's ranking Democrat, Nita Lowey of New York, expressing their opposition to Obama's "unilateral pledge" to make taxpayer money available to create a $100 billion a year "Green Climate Fund" at the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 United Nations meeting in Paris.
The Green Climate Fund has become a target for the GOP as a way to limit Obama's climate change agenda and upset any deal that would come from a U.N. deal next month. The fund would be used to send money to developing nations to help them mitigate the effects of climate change. It is expected to be fully funded by 2020. President Obama has asked for $500 million in his latest budget request, with zero appropriated. The administration has pledged $3 billion to be used for the green fund.
A similar letter was sent to the president Friday by 37 senators, warning Obama that they will block money for the fund if the administration does not send any deal made in Paris to Congress for ratification.
The House letter urges the chamber's appropriators to block funds for the Green Climate Fund if Obama does not send any deal made in Paris to the House for approval.
The House members warn that the $100 billion per year goal is just the beginning of a rapid increase in U.N. obligations after 2020, which would put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for several billion more dollars than the president has stated.
"This request from the president appears to be just the beginning of a commitment to the United Nations that could dwarf previous such climate commitments made by the United States government," the letter reads. "The Green Climate Fund's executive director recently stated that estimated funding needed by developing countries would increase to $450 billion per year after 2020."
It adds that the United Nations' top climate change official, Christina Figueres, has said the current $100 billion goal is mere "peanuts," stating the U.N. envisions trillions of dollars in spending over the next 15 years.