This December, the United States joined 200 other nations in adopting the Paris Agreement, an ambitious global agreement for a framework to tackle climate change. Future historians may mark this moment as the greatest accomplishment of Obama’s entire presidency, but we have found that most of Congress ignored it. At Climate Hawks Vote, we score members of Congress, not just on how they vote, but on how they lead. And that includes saying something on the Paris Agreement. We’ve done a quick roundup of support for, silence on, and opposition to, the Paris Agreement by members of Congress.


The Paris Agreement is being ignored by Democratic leaders such as Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Fewer than half of the House Democrats had anything to say at all. The vast majority of Republicans in both houses refrained from public criticism. In the House, those few who criticized the Paris agreement are deeply ideological and geographically diverse; in the Senate, they’re from fossil fuel states or –  Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz – running for President. We found one Republican who praised the agreement. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders criticizes the Paris Agreement for not going far enough.


We found 89 Democrats who praised the Paris agreement, compared to 100 who had nothing to say. Among those who remained silent: wannabe Senators Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), and Alan Grayson (FL-09), and beleaguered DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23). On the other hand, some House members who aspire to the Senate did notice the Paris agreement: Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Donna Edwards (MD-04), and Chris Van Hollen (MD-08).

Of special note:  Doris Matsui (CA-06), vice-chair of the House Sustainable Energy & Environment Caucus, and her graphics team, whose tweet was retweeted by 18 House Democrats.


Democrats supporting the Paris Agreement:

Grijalva, Raul M.

Gallego, Ruben

Huffman, Jared

Garamendi, John

Matsui, Doris Okada

McNerney, Jerry

DeSaulnier, Mark

Pelosi, Nancy

Lee, Barbara

Speier, Jackie

Honda, Michael M.

Eshoo, Anna G.

Farr, Sam

Capps, Lois

Brownley, Julia

Chu, Judy

Schiff, Adam B.

Lieu, Ted

Becerra, Xavier

Roybal-Allard, Lucille

Takano, Mark

Lowenthal, Alan S.

Peters, Scott

Davis, Susan A.

DeGette, Diana

Polis, Jared

Perlmutter, Ed

Castor, Katherine

Murphy, Patrick

Frankel, Lois

Wilson, Frederica S.

Johnson, Henry C.

Lewis, John

Takai, Mark

Rush, Bobby L.

Gutierrez, Luis V.

Quigley, Michael

Duckworth, Tammy

Schakowsky, Janice D.

Foster, Bill

McGovern, James P.

Tsongas, Niki

Clark, Katherine

Sarbanes, John P.

Edwards, Donna

Hoyer, Steny H.

Delaney, John

Van Hollen, Christopher

Levin, Sander M.

Dingell, Debbie

Conyers, John

Lawrence, Brenda

McCollum, Betty

Ellison, Keith M.

Cleaver, Emanuel

Price, David E.

Ashford, Brad

Kuster, Ann

Pallone, Frank

Lujan, Ben Ray

Israel, Steve

Rice, Kathleen

Meeks, Gregory W.

Jeffries, Hakeem

Clarke, Yvette Diane

Nadler, Jerrold

Maloney, Carolyn B.

Rangel, Charles B.

Crowley, Joseph

Engel, Eliot L.

Maloney, Sean

Tonko, Paul

Slaughter, Louise

Kaptur, Marcy

Ryan, Timothy J.

Bonamici, Suzanne

Cartwright, Matthew

Langevin, James R.

Cohen, Stephen I.

Castro, Joaquin

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

Doggett, Lloyd

Beyer, Don

Connolly, Gerald E.

Welch, Peter F.

Larsen, Rick

Kilmer, Derek C.

Smith, Adam

One Republican, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, put out a generally positive press release.

Eighteen Republicans – generally among the most conservative members of the House – signaled opposition. The vast majority of House Republicans simply had nothing to say in public.


Republicans opposing the Paris Agreement:

Byrne, Bradley

Palmer, Gary

Gosar, Paul

Yoho, Ted

Loudermilk, Barry

King, Steven A.

Bucshon, Larry

Pompeo, Mike

Fleming, John

Luetkemeyer, Blaine

Pearce, Steve

Kelly, Mike

Rothfus, Keith

Smith, Lamar S.

Babin, Brian

Sensenbrenner, F. James

McKinley, David

Lummis, Cynthia M.


We found 28 Democrats in the climate hawk caucus, including ten Democrats who traveled to Paris to show their strong support (names in italics below). Seventeen other Democrats didn’t consider the issue noteworthy. Conspicuous by their silence: Chuck Schumer, widely expected to take over as leader of the caucus in 2017; Elizabeth Warren, now on the Senate Energy & Natural Resources committee; and Gary Peters, who ran in 2014 as a climate leader.


Democrats supporting the Paris Agreement:

Democrats silent on the Paris Agreement:

Feinstein, Dianne

Boxer, Barbara

Murphy, Chris

Carper, Thomas

Coons, Christopher

Schatz, Brian

Durbin, Richard

Markey, Ed

Cardin, Ben

King, Angus (independent who caucuses w/ Dems)

Klobuchar, Amy

Franken, Al

Shaheen, Jeanne

Heinrich, Martin

Udall, Tom

Reid, Harry

Gillibrand, Kristin

Wyden, Ron

Booker, Cory

Menendez, Robert

Merkley, Jeff

Casey, Bob

Reed, Jack

Whitehouse, Sheldon

Kaine, Tim

Murray, Patty

Cantwell, Maria

Baldwin, Tammy


Bennet, Michael

Blumenthal, Richard

Nelson, Bill

Hirono, Maizie

Donnelly, Joe

Warren, Elizabeth

Mikulski, Barbara

Peters, Gary

Stabenow, Debbie

McCaskill, Claire

Tester, Jon

Heitkamp, Heidi

Schumer, Chuck

Brown, Sherrod

Warner, Mark

Leahy, Patrick

Manchin, Joe

Bernie Sanders, running for President, sent a somewhat critical tweet from his Senate account, @SenSanders: “While the#ParisAgreement is a step forward it goes nowhere near far enough. The planet is in crisis. We need bold action now.”

Most Republicans in the Senate had nothing to say about the Paris agreement. The exceptions came from a handful of fossil-fueled Senators and two Presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.


Republicans opposing the Paris Agreement:

Lee, Mike*

Rubio, Marco*

McConnell, Mitch

Daines, Steve

Inhofe, Jim

Cornyn, John

Hatch, Orrin

Capito, Shelly Moore

Barrasso, John

Cruz, Ted*

Notes: Mike Lee issued a press release criticizing the omnibus spending bill with a swipe at the Paris Agreement, and remarks by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were both as Presidential candidates rather than from their Senate offices.


Methodology note

We examined the press releases, facebook posts, and tweets by every member of Congress since December 11 for statements regarding COP21 and/or the Paris agreement. For this report, we’re treating all content equally, whether a thoughtful press release or a simple retweet of a @whitehouse tweet.

Paid for in part by Climate Hawks Vote Political Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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