Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement is a "devastating failure of historic proportions," and said it shows the U.S. is no longer a leader on the international stage.
"President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is a devastating failure of historic proportions," Schumer said. "Future generations will look back on President Trump's decision as one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century because of the huge damage to our economy, our environment and our geopolitical standing."
The Senate Democratic leader said pulling out of the agreement "doesn't put America first," and instead "puts America last" on the world stage. He rebutted Trump's claim that he will negotiate a better deal and argued that he should remain in the agreement if he wants to improve it, instead of backing out.
"The idea of searching for a new deal is a fig leaf. If you truly believe in improving the Paris Agreement, you don't back out — you work with our allies and partners around the world," he said. "Democrats will do everything we can to undo what President Trump has done and prevent further regression; I seriously hope the President reconsiders this awful decision."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., echoed Schumer's stance and said that the president would have projected leadership by leaving the U.S. in the agreement rather than "storming out of the room."
"By walking away from this pact, President Trump is abandoning America's leadership position in the fight against the climate crisis and is sending a strong message to the rest of the world to create, design and manufacture clean energy solutions and create jobs elsewhere," Pelosi said in a statement. "If President Trump wants nations like China and India to take stronger and swifter action on climate, then he should do so through the accountability and enforcement provisions in the Paris Agreement, not by breaking our word and storming out of the room.""Democrats will join with states, cities, local groups and the private sector to fight to protect the future of our climate and our planet, regardless of the reckless and short-sighted actions that the White House takes," she said.
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez struck a similar tone to the Democratic Congressional leaders and claimed that Trump has "signed away our future."
"Today, Donald Trump signed away our future," Perez said. "As the world looks to America for leadership, President Trump and Republicans are keeping their heads buried in the sand, hoping the greatest challenge of our time will simply disappear."
"We must act boldly and decisively today to protect our economy, our country, and our planet," he continued. "This is one storm we cannot wait out."
Trump made the announcement during a ceremony in the Rose Garden where he was joined by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who were proponents of exiting the agreement.