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80+ House and Senate Democrats Urge Inclusion of Civilian Climate Corps in Final Reconciliation Deal

Bicameral leaders outline agreement on goals, standards and structure of the program

Today, Rep. Gerry Connolly joined  Reps. Joe Neguse, Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, Judy Chu, Marcy Kaptur, Bobby Rush and Senators Ron Wyden, Chris Coons, and Ed Markey in sending a letter signed by over 80 lawmakers urging inclusion of the Civilian Climate Corps in the final budget reconciliation deal. Initial reporting of the Senate’s framework for a deal notes general support for the concept, but the final funding and details will be agreed upon in the coming weeks.

The group of bicameral leaders, who have been advocating for creation of a Civilian Climate Corps for several months and years, laid out their joint vision on goals, labor standards and structure of the program in a letter to House and Senate leadership today. While each of the legislators have previously introduced their own bills outlining a vision for the Civilian Climate Corps, this is the first time the coalition is coming together to agree upon their priorities.

The letter asks that the Civilian Climate Corps: 

  • Prioritize projects that invest in natural climate solutions, clean energy, and climate resilience, and which address environmental justice; 

  • Sets ambitious labor standards, including by providing a living wage, robust education awards, full healthcare coverage and support for childcare, housing, transportation and education; 

  • Invests in equitable and diverse Corps membership by recruiting from frontline environmental justice communities and offering opportunities for DACA recipients, DED and TPS holders, refugees and asylees and veterans; 

  • Is implemented through AmeriCorps and other national, state and local service organizations to build on and scale up existing infrastructure;

  • Includes robust funding for the many programs and activities in which Corps members will engage including at the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and others, to provide the needed workforce for federal programs to fulfill their full potential to mitigate climate impacts; and

  • Follows the lead of local communities. 

Read the letter HERE.

The letter is signed by Representatives Joe Neguse, Judy Chu, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Marcy Kaptur, Bobby Rush, Nanette Barragán, Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Jamaal Bowman, Brendan Boyle, Julia Brownley, André Carson, Troy Carter, Kathy Castor, Yvette Clarke, Emanuel Cleaver, Steve Cohen, Gerald Connolly, Madeleine Dean, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Mark DeSaulnier, Lloyd Doggett, Michael Doyle, Veronica Escobar, Ruben Gallego, Jesús García, Raúl Grijalva, Jared Huffman, Pramila Jayapal, Mondaire Jones, Kaiali'i Kahele, Ro Khanna, John Larson, Barbara Lee, Teresa Leger Fernandez, Ted Lieu, Alan Lowenthal, Tom Malinowski, Carolyn Maloney, Betty McCollum, Grace Meng, Marie Newman, Eleanor Norton, Jimmy Panetta, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Mike Quigley, Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes, Janice Schakowsky, Darren Soto, Melanie Stansbury, Thomas Suozzi, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Peter Welch, Nikema Williams, Danny Davis, Frederica Wilson, and Senators Ron Wyden, Chris Coons, Ed Markey, Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Ben Cardin, Bob Casey, Richard Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin Heinrich, Mazie Hirono, Patrick Leahy, Ben Ray Luján, Jeff Merkley, Alex Padilla, Chris Van Hollen, and Elizabeth Warren.  

The letter is endorsed by over 45 local, state and national organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, Defend Our Future, League of Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, Sunrise Movement, Earthjustice, The Corps Network, Service Year Alliance, America's Service Commissions, States for Service Coalition, Outdoor Afro, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Lands Foundation, Continental Divide Trail Coalition , Conservation Colorado, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, National Recreation and Park Association, American Forests, SkyDay, Choose Outdoors, SOS Outreach, National League of Cities, Courage California, Student Conservation Association, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Protect Our Winters, Inclusion Outdoors, Better Wyoming, The Educator, Collective for Environmental Justice, Defiende Nuestra Tierra, 10 Billion Strong, Natural Resources Defense Council, Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education, Friends of, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Rising Routes, Children & Nature Network, Sierra Club, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, Outdoor Afro, Connecticut Forest & Park Association, REI Co-op, The Trust for Public Land, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Washington Trails Association, North American Association for Environmental Education.

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