What to Expect from Congressional Republicans Ahead of Tonight’s Joint Address to Congress — and Why They’re Wrong

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163, courtnee_connon@lcv.org

While President Biden and Vice President Harris have accomplished what LCV President Gene Karpinski called the “strongest first 100 days for climate and environmental justice we’ve ever seen,” including putting forth the transformational American Jobs Plan, congressional Republicans continue to put the special interests of big polluter CEOs first, instead of providing the investments required to propel our nation forward. The oil and gas industry gave over $62 million to Republican candidates in the 2020 cycle alone. Clearly it’s not about voters — a majority of whom support the American Jobs Plan and agree that climate action will create jobs. 

Ahead of President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress, we know what congressional Republicans are going to say; yes, that includes more bizarre narratives around their preference to drink meat-beer — a plot twist, I’ll admit, we didn’t see coming. But what you won’t hear from the GOP is the real reason for their climate denialism and criticism of the American Jobs Plan —  we’ll let their LCV scores and contributions from the fossil fuel industry do the talking for them.

You’ll hear that the American Jobs Plan is just a scheme to raise taxes, but the truth is Americans support making corporations pay their fair share by overturning the irresponsible GOP tax cuts: 

On Fox News last night, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH; 19%  lifetime LCV score, taken more than $1.1 million from oil and gas) insisted that President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will hurt workers and will hurt jobs. And Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA; 7% lifetime LCV score, taken more than $1.7 million from oil and gas), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT; 7% lifetime LCV score, taken more than $1.1 million from oil and gas), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN; 3% lifetime LCV score, taken nearly $800K from oil and gas) joined in on the false rhetoric on Twitter.

The truth is: Top economists agree that clean energy is a smart investment in our long-term growth that will make U.S. companies more productive and competitive and add trillions of dollars to our economy. We are already paying a high price for pollution and climate change, and, if we fail to take bold and just action on the climate crisis right now, the price for our children and grandchildren will only get higher and higher. Plus taxing corporations to invest in our recovery is extremely popular — FOX News, the Washington Post, and Monmouth’s April 2021 polls all found that the majority (56-64%) of respondents support raising the corporate tax rate to pay for infrastructure plans. 

You’ll hear that this is not infrastructure because it’s not just about roads and bridges, but the truth is these are the investments in infrastructure required to propel our nation forward and a majority of voters agree: 

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS; 6% lifetime LCV score, taken more than $900K from oil and gas) said this plan includes ‘many non-infrastructure priorities’ and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY; taken more than $615K from oil and gas — and that’s as a Freshman) is calling the plan a progressive wish list.

The truth is: This is infrastructure and Republicans know it — before the American Jobs Plan was released Republicans like Sens. Daines and Barrasso said themselves that infrastructure includes things like broadband, water, airports, and energy. Check out this note from Emily highlighting this hypocrisy. And a majority of voters support bold action on the climate crisis as part of infrastructure.

You’ll hear that this is not actually a jobs plan and it will cause job loss, but the truth is investing in a clean energy future will create and sustain millions of good-paying, union jobs right here in the U.S.: 

Sen. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA; 4% LCV Lifetime Score, taken more than $640K from oil and gas) shared a video from the GOP Energy and Commerce Committee “exposing” that the plan will not create jobs at all but actually take away jobs and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX; 3% lifetime LCV score, taken over $2 million from oil and gas) is sharing that the plan will only send jobs overseas.

The truth is: The American Jobs Plan is about rebuilding the American economy and creating millions of high-paying, union jobs. Period. Infrastructure and the climate crisis are inextricably linked — and the smartest investments we can make would create jobs that will help us tackle the climate crisis. In fact experts have estimated the plan would create 1 – 1.2 million jobs per year in energy efficiency and renewable energy. This includes ensuring that the workers who have powered our nation to this point are not left behind. And the majority of voters on both sides of the aisle support the American Jobs Plan and the historic investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy.

And finally, you’ll hear that this will ban hamburgers and force beer-drinkers to  consume meatless beer, but the truth is… well, that’s just not true:

Freshman Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA; taken more than $6k from oil and gas), Lauren Boebert (R-CO; taken more than $42K from oil and gas), and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC; taken more than $16k from oil and gas) have all played into the narrative started on Fox News that President Biden was planning to limit the nation’s red meat intake down to ‘four pounds per person.’

The truth is: On Monday, Fox News’ John Roberts admitted on-air that this was not, in fact, a part of the plan. But for anyone who is worried about the beer of the future, check out this piece in E&E this morning from Daniel Cusick on how awful beer will taste if we don’t work to solve the climate crisis. 

The reality is, President Biden and Vice President Harris have created a clear path to rebuild our infrastructure and put millions of people back to work in new good-paying, union jobs while tackling climate change and environmental racism, and positioning the U.S. as a global climate leader. As we look ahead to the next 100 days, LCV is all in to work with this administration and Congress to quickly pass a recovery bill with climate, justice, and jobs at the center. 

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