The House sent a resounding message to the nations gathering in Paris for international talks on climate change by approving two Senate resolutions to block President Obama's restrictions on power plants.
The resolutions now go to Obama. When the resolutions passed the Senate last month, the White House said Obama would veto the resolutions.
The House on Tuesday voted 242-180 to block the Clean Power Plan, a mostly symbolic measure by Congress to stop President Obama's signature environmental regulation. The chamber also passed a second resolution to block carbon emissions limits on new power plants, 235-188.
The Clean Power Plan, seen as Obama's signature environmental regulation, is the centerpiece of the administration's commitments to the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21, being held in Paris during the next two weeks.
Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., said the vote is meant to show the 195 other countries gathering in Paris that there are serious objections to the Obama's plans in the United States.
"We want to send a message to the climate change conference in Paris that in America there's serious disagreement with the extreme policies of this president," Whitfield said.
The votes capped a full day of skepticism about the Paris talks in the House. Tuesday morning, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing questioning the Clean Power Plan and Obama's authority to sign a climate deal.
It was a day of attacks on Obama's climate change goals that seemed to get under some Democrats' skin.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said on the House floor the resolutions were just the "latest salvo" from Republicans in their attempt to stop any attempt to limit carbon pollution. He chalked that up to Republican skepticism on climate change and their support for the fossil fuel industry.
"I do realize some of us really don't care whether mankind's actions contribute to climate change," he said. "…You can laugh, you can smile, you can joke, but 95 percent of the scientists agree that if we continue along the same path we are traveling along, it's the demise of humankind that's the result.
"What are we in Congress doing?"
Many Republicans who spoke Tuesday pointed to the potential increases in electricity costs the Clean Power Plan would cause as reason enough to oppose the regulation.
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said the Clean Power Plan was another example of the Obama administration not caring about "everyday Americans" and instead focusing on its climate change agenda.
"Every day Washington hits the American people with more regulations that hurt families, but few will hurt families more than President Obama's so-called Clean Power Plan," he said.
Republicans also characterized the climate change resolutions as driven almost totally by Obama and his administration, which is something Democrats took issue with.
Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., said many faith-based leaders have been writing to Congress urging action on climate change. He added many businesses are acting to reduce their carbon emissions and are favoring working with governments that have clean energy policies.
"It is not a one-person operation or a one-person show driving us down this road to a certain response to climate change," he said.