Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on President Joe Biden to declare a “climate emergency” Monday night while appearing as a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show.
“[Biden] can do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that he could do without legislation,” Schumer said.
The Senate leader added that ex-President Donald Trump used the emergency powers “for a stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency.”
“If there ever was an emergency, climate is one,” Schumer told Maddow.
Declaring a national emergency would give the Biden administration more flexibility in combatting the climate “crisis,” including being able to generate more federal funding, The Hill reported. (RELATED: Chuck Schumer Could Wipe Out The Squad, And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Might Force Him To Do It)
The possibility of using the powers of the executive to enact climate legislation has many Republicans concerned, according to The Hill.
Under the Trump administration, many Republicans were wary about Trump’s use of the emergency powers to redirect more funding for the border wall with congressional opposition, The Hill reported.
“If today, the national emergency is border security … tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change,” Senator Marc Rubio told CNBC in 2019.
Despite the GOP’s opposition, the new administration has already signaled their extensive commitment to climate change.
In his first day in office, Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement – a treaty his predecessor rebuffed, according to the BBC.
The president will also suspend the sale of new federal oil and gas leases, The Washington Post reported Monday night.
Occupying both houses of Congress and the presidency, the Democrats have pledged to make climate change a priority, according to The Hill.