U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert on Thursday introduced a trio of bills to reverse executive actions taken earlier this week by President Joe Biden on climate and the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rifle Republican's proposed legislation would prevent the United States from rejoining the Paris climate agreement, suspend a mask mandate on federal property and interstate travel, and block funds from going to the World Health Organization until "America holds both the WHO and China accountable for their failures" in the global pandemic.
Biden signed a record 17 executive actions on Wednesday within hours of being sworn in as the nation's 46th president.
Boebert's bills aren't expected to gain traction in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, but that isn't stopping the freshman lawmaker from coming out swinging.
Her first bill would require that the Senate ratify the Paris climate agreement before the United States could join it again.
"Joe Biden took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution," Boebert said in a statement. "If he wants to keep it, he must transmit the job-killing Paris Agreement to the U.S. Senate for ratification."
The Trump administration withdrew the United States from the international Paris climate accord, which sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions and was adopted by President Barack Obama under authority that his administration argued was granted by an earlier, Senate-ratified climate agreement. Senate ratification would require 17 Republican votes in the evenly split chamber.
In a release, Boebert maintained that joining the international accord will put hundreds of thousands of Colorado jobs involved in the fossil fuel industry at risk.
I work for the people of Pueblo, not the people of Paris.— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 22, 2021
"I work for the people of Pueblo, not the people of Paris," tweeted Boebert, whose vast 3rd Congressional District includes Pueblo, the San Luis Valley and Colorado's Western Slope.
The Paris Agreement, negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was signed in Paris. The agreement has been joined by 190 nations, with just seven holdouts, including Turkey, oil-producing nations Iran, Iraq and Libya, and war-torn Yemen, Eritrea and South Sudan.
The Pueblo City Council in 2017 committed to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035, becoming the 22nd city in the county to set the formal goal. Vestas Wind Energy operates the largest wind turbine manufacturing plant in the world in Pueblo and has three other factories elsewhere in Colorado.
"American ingenuity and innovation have allowed the U.S. to become a global leader in reducing carbon emissions," Boebert's office said in a release.
"Unshackling job creators by reducing overreaching regulatory burdens has resulted in voluntary actions and technological advancements that have yielded significant benefits for the environment. That is the path America should be pursuing, not unrealistic and unattainable climate goals not based in science that yield no benefit."
Another Boebert bill would stop an executive order from going into effect that requires mask use on federal property, at airports and during travel on airplanes, buses and trains. The mandate, meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, is one element of the Biden administration's approach to battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You can’t make this stuff up," Boebert said in a statement. "Joe Biden was on federal land without a mask the same day he signed a federal property mask mandate. Sadly, this is what we’ve come to expect from hypocritical Democrats. ‘Mandates for thee, but not for me.’"
She added that the president should focus on "reopening our economy and getting Americans back to work" rather than imposing mandates and lockdowns.
"Continued federal overreach won’t end the COVID-19 pandemic or put food on the table."
Boebert noted that her bill permits encouraging the use of masks.
The federal Center for Disease Control recommends wearing masks in public "when around people who don't live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings."
Boebert's third bill prohibits contributions to the WHO until the State Department and Department of Health and Human Services have conducted "a thorough investigation" into the international public health organization's and China's "contributions" to the global pandemic, which originated in late 2019 in China's Wuhan province.
Biden on Wednesday reversed a decision by Trump to leave the WHO.
Said Boebert: "We must not let the Chinese Communist Party off the hook. We must hold the WHO accountable. Joe Biden failed to do either of those things and his edict yesterday only emboldens Beijing. Rejoining the WHO without ensuring accountability for the American people is the wrong move.”
The United States funded roughly 15% of the WHO's budget in 2019, amounting to more than $400 million.