What People Are Saying: The Democratic Party is United In Support of Climate Action
As Congress approaches the moment of truth for President Biden’s legislative agenda, the party is displaying unprecedented unity around ambitious plans to tackle the climate crisis. The best way to do that is through the Build Back Better Act, and today a set of frontline members led by Speaker Pelosi promised to deliver the provisions. Democrats are describing in detail why they are committed to President Biden’s climate plan and offering their perspectives on how to achieve it.
The reason for these changes is simple: voters have become increasingly alarmed about the effects of climate change and want to see Build Back Better focus on swift action to confront the crisis. New polling from Hart Research’s Geoff Garin found that 58% of voters polled across 24 battleground House districts support the investments of the Build Back Better Act, and previous statewide polls in AZ, CO, GA, NV, and NH found support from 59% of voters.
Public concern is increasing at exactly the time that Congress is considering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle the climate crisis. The transformational climate investments in the Build Back Better Act will create good-paying jobs, cut costs for families, and slash pollution.
House Democrats delivered that message on Capitol Hill today in a press conference led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that was built by Climate Power and League of Conservation Voters. Here are highlights of what was said:
At the top of the presser, Speaker Pelosi reiterated her commitment to passing the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act in her just-released Dear Colleague letter, saying, “[President Biden] will go to Glasgow — and we want him to do so — with legislation that is passed that confirms our commitment to the Paris Accords by honoring our commitment to emissions standards.”
Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
“Climate change is an emergency that demands urgent, bold action. The Build Back Better Act is bold action — this historic legislation builds on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package to tackle the climate crisis by helping communities transition to clean energy, while creating good paying jobs to power our future.”
Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03)
“I’m going to continue to show up. I know that we can build on some of the work that’s being done at the local level — and I know that we’re going to continue to work on getting these bills through. When you think about what the future holds, I want to be sure people know we’re not just talking about the clean energy industry — we’re talking about promoting an amazing economic driver that is going to leave our grandchildren in a much better place.”
Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11)
“The day I was touring storm damage in Michigan, another storm hit, knocking out power lines, shutting down businesses. Basements, cars, homes, and roads destroyed as our existing infrastructure couldn’t keep up with the extreme weather caused by climate change. The time is now to come together to build back better — we can do this.”
Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04)
“Climate action is protecting our planet — but it’s also about fairness, and about justice, and about jobs. None of this is about politics. This is bipartisan — our constituents, whether they be Republicans, Democrats or Independents — they want climate action now. With the Democrats in charge of this House, and the Senate, and the White House, we will deliver.”
As negotiations over the Build Back Better Act reach the final stages, here is a look at what Democrats from every region of the country are saying:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)
“In Arizona, we’re all too familiar with the impacts of a changing climate … from increasing wildfires to the severe droughts, to shrinking water levels at Lake Mead, damage to critical infrastructure — these are all the things that we’re dealing with in Arizona every day. We know that a changing climate costs Arizonans. And right now, we have the opportunity to pass smart policies to address it — looking forward to that.” [Arizona Republic, 9/23/21]
Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
“Wearing green in solidarity with youth striking today in Portland and around the world to demand action on the climate crisis. I’ll continue fighting tooth and nail in the Senate to cut carbon emissions and get our country on track to a clean energy future.” [Twitter, 9/24/21]
Rep. DeFazio (OR-04)
“We are at a crossroad. We can rebuild America to give people a fair shot, create jobs, and face the climate crisis. Or we can fail to invest in the American people. Tonight, I open floor debate on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. We must choose to #BuildBackBetter.” [Twitter, 9/27/21]
Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
“Today, we took a momentous step forward in advancing the #BuildBackBetter Act. We are now closer than ever before to passing critical priorities, such as immigration reform, tax cuts for working families, climate change solutions, and safe and reliable child care.” [Twitter, 8/24/21]
Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49)
“We are quickly nearing the point of no return on the #ClimateCrisis, and as
said at #UNGA, this is a code red emergency for humanity.
It’s time to meet this moment with the Build Back Better Act. #CodeRedClimate” [Twitter, 9/22/21]
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)
“We have the House, the Senate, and the White House.
Let’s finally deliver on health care, child care, paid leave, climate action, pre-k, community college, housing, a roadmap to citizenship, and infrastructure.
We can do it all — and we must while we have the chance.” [Twitter, 9/27/21]
Rep. Joseph Neguse (CO-02)
[The impacts of climate change are at our doorstep: catastrophic wildfires, hurricanes and flash flooding, and some of the worst air quality in the world.
As we craft the Build Back Better Act, we’re working to ensure that #ClimateAction is at the forefront.” [Twitter, 8/31/21]
Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
“The provisions in the bill that increase deficits should be offset, with the possible exception of measures to combat climate change, in light of the fact that cost estimates prepared by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation do not adequately account for the future costs associated with inaction on the climate crisis.” [E&E News, 9/8/21]
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)
“Climate change poses an existential threat, and Congress must swiftly enact smart measures to combat this crisis. If we fail to do so, the damage to our planet and our country — especially my home state of Florida — will be immeasurable and irreversible. […] Any reconciliation bill must be fiscally responsible and must also take bold action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, which will save us money in the long run. In my view, addressing climate change is both morally necessary and fiscally responsible.” [E&E News, 9/8/21]
“I’m a proponent for ensuring that the climate provisions within the reconciliation bill aren’t subject to being paid for.” [Axios, 9/23/21]
Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-11)
“This is a “code red” for 🌎:
🌡 Hottest summer on record
🔥 Devastating wildfires & hurricanes
🌨 $100B+ damages from extreme weather in Texas
There’s no more time to waste. We need to #BuildBackBetter w clean energy jobs, lower costs & resilient infrastructure. #CodeRedClimate” [Twitter, 9/22/21]
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA)
“The #ClimateCrisis is real and will only get worse if we don’t act now. I’m fighting for bold goals and aggressive action to transform our economy and save our planet. Congress must step up to fight climate change.” [Twitter, 9/5/21]
Sen. Ed Markey (MA)
“What does a climate crisis “Code Red” mean? It means that Congress needs to pass the budget resolution and unleash a clean energy revolution. It means it’s time to create millions of good paying, green jobs. It means be bold, be brave, and act on climate now. #CodeRedClimate.” [Twitter, 9/22/21]
Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03)
“This bill may be our last best chance to truly tackle the magnitude of the climate crisis. […] Climate chaos is a national security crisis, especially in communities like mine that see flooding and hurricanes battering our coastal homes. We need to treat it with severe urgency. In the coming days and weeks, I will work to maximize America’s investments in this budget and through other efforts to combat climate change and provide a better future for my kids, your kids and grandkids, and future generations.” [Twitter, 8/24/21]
Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11)
“By ensuring that the U.S. not only competes, but lead’s the world’s race toward a clean energy future, the Build Back Better plan creates millions of good-paying American jobs. Winning that future depends on investing in electric vehicles and manufacturing supply chains.” [Twitter, 8/24/21]
Rep. Axne (IA-03)
“From investments in our rural businesses to key infrastructure funding to promote biofuels and other clean energy sources, this section of the Build Back Better Act will support Iowa’s communities and chart a path to a cleaner environment for both ourselves and our children.” [Press Release, 9/13/21]