House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that they back President Trump's decision to pull America out of the Paris climate agreement, which Trump said circumvented the will of Congress because it was never ratified by the U.S. Senate like other treaties.
"The Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America," Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement. "Signed by President Obama without Senate ratification, it would have driven up the cost of energy, hitting middle-class and low-income Americans the hardest. In order to unleash the power of the American economy, our government must encourage production of American energy."
"I commend President Trump for fulfilling his commitment to the American people and withdrawing from this bad deal," Ryan said.
McConnell, R-Ky., said the move would help ensure an end to regulatory moves by the Obama administration that hurt U.S. energy production.
"President Obama made commitments in this deal based off a costly power plan that we knew at the time was on shaky legal ground," McConnell said in a statement. "By withdrawing from this unattainable mandate, President Trump has reiterated his commitment to protecting middle class families across the country and workers throughout coal country from higher energy prices and potential job loss."
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the climate deal imposed great costs for little gain. McCarthy said private innovation, such as the growth in the natural gas industry, would help ensure a cleaner climate.
"President Trump made the right call in leaving a deal that would have put an unnecessary burden on the United States," McCarthy said in a statement.
And House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Trump's move is "refreshing" because it puts American jobs and the economy first. He said the Paris accord is "radical" and "is more about wealth redistribution than protecting the environment."
Last week, 22 Republican senators sent a letter to Trump, urging him to pull out of the climate pact.