A handful of Republicans joined the Democrats in a Senate committee vote on Thursday to give $10 million to the United Nations' climate change agency, defying President Trump, who had proposed eliminating the funding.
By a vote of 16 to 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment providing funding for the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change in a spending bill for the State Department.
"[This] fits in with Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson's desire that we both continue to monitor the changes in the world's climate and that we keep a seat at the table," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who sponsored the amendment.
Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina joined all Democrat committee members except Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia in supporting the amendment.
The U.S. has made annual payments to the climate change fund since 1992, but Trump proposed cutting off the money in his budget proposal. Earlier this year, the president withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, an international accord signed by 195 nations that pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has dismissed the need for the U.S. to contribute funding U.N. climate change programs.
"As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward — we're not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that," Mulvaney said in announcing Trump's budget proposal for FY 2018.
The House's version of the State Department funding bill does not contain money for the U.N. climate agency, so the two chambers will have to reconcile the differences in the final legislation.