Bump Ahead: Infrastructure and Spending Hit Roadblock

Hi, all.

In last week’s post, I wrote about the upcoming vote on the Build Back Better bill and how you could take action to help it pass or encourage stronger climate measures to be included. 

This week, I’m here to tell you that post is still mostly relevant as Congress missed their self-imposed deadline last Friday to pass the bill. (It is worth noting, however, that they were able to pass a new government budget before an external deadline that could have resulted in a partial government shutdown–phew.) 

tl;dr Though it’s always frustrating to see dysfunction at the highest levels of our government, the good news from this situation is that the Democratic lawmakers behind potential climate policies and other important social policies have not given into other members of their party arguing for a smaller bill that would achieve less.

ntl;r Basically, there are two separate pieces of legislation Democrats are trying to push through: First, what is commonly being referred to as the “1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill;” and second, the “much larger spending plan” that has a much broader, more progressive agenda (including tasty climate policies). The progressive wing is refusing to vote on the smaller infrastructure bill until the spending plan is passed, but the moderate wing wants to see the spending plan shrunk before they would consider supporting it. Get the low-down from this NPR story. Also, check out this Earther article about Joe Manchin’s dirty dealings if you need more motivation to bug him with more calls about passing the spending bill. 

So, bottom line, it’s still important to take action to tell lawmakers including strong climate action in the Build Back Better agenda is of the utmost imperative, and I’ll include several of the same links I sent out last week at the bottom of this post.

In other, related news, the Yale Program on Climate Communication released new data showing a “dramatic increase” in both Americans’ belief that climate change is happening and Americans’ worry over climate change, in addition to an increase in the number of Americans being harmed right now by the impacts of climate change. So yeah, lawmakers, we do want to see some substantive action on climate change happening over there in Congress. 

Thanks for checking in, and keep your eye out for next week’s post about the upcoming People vs. Fossil Fuels demonstration happening in D.C.

Links to take action on the Build Back Better agenda, as promised:

  • Send a message to your own representative either online at #CodeRedCongress or by giving them a call through #Call4Climate.
  • However, it should be noted that the real person who needs to be convinced to pass this bill is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Join in a twice-weekly phone bank (Tuesday and Thursday evenings) run by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network to let him know we want this bill passed.
  • Finally, here are a couple of actions to demand bigger and better climate policies into the bill as it is still being deliberated: Send a message with Earth Justice and get dirty energy out of the Build Back Better Act.

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