ICYMI: Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and Congressional Climate Champions Join LCV and Climate Power to Talk Importance of Passing Build Back Better Act

Nov 17, 2021

Dominic DiFiglia,

In case you missed it, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Climate Power held a press conference today on Capitol Hill with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Ed Markey (MA), Senator Tina Smith (MN), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49), Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-02), Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04), and LCV’s Tiernan Sittenfeld. 

WATCH the full recording here.

Ahead of a House vote on the Build Back Better Act, the speakers highlighted the urgent need to pass this historic investment in climate, clean energy, justice, and jobs that will lower costs and build a healthier future. The Build Back Better Act remains popular among the public and studies have shown it will save American families $500 per month on energy costs and deliver $9 billion a year in savings for utilities and their customers. Now is the time to get this bill through Congress and on to President Biden’s desk.

LCV’s Tiernan Sittenfeld said passing the Build Back Better Act, “could not be more important to saving consumers money on their energy bills and other monthly expenses, to investing in the frontline communities and communities of color that have suffered the most from toxic pollution, and creating and sustaining millions of good-paying, union jobs in the clean-energy economy.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “This bill makes it happen for us in terms of preserving the planet, and doing so by lowering costs for families, by cutting pollution in half by 2030, by creating good-paying, union jobs, and doing so with equity, with fairness to build back better.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “In the days, weeks, and months ahead, the American people will see the benefit of this bill in their daily lives.” He also noted that just, “addressing our emissions reduction is not sufficient, we need to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits are flowing to disadvantaged communities and that people living in communities dependent on fossil fuels are given the support they need so no one is left behind during the transition.”

Senator Ed Markey (MA) said, “We’re at a turning point: will we finish this historic job? It is imperative that the House of Representatives pass this Build Back Better package because the Senate needs to receive that package and pass it before Christmas. I’m dreaming of a green Christmas. I’m dreaming of the American people and the rest of the world knowing that the United States has stepped up.”

Senator Tina Smith (MN) said, “The leaders in the House behind me can do this, they will do this. And then, it is up to President Biden and the Senate to finish this job. There will be more work to do, more work ahead, but I have great confidence that we can take strong climate action to move our economy toward a clean energy future that is going to make us more competitive, that is going to put us on the forefront of a clean energy revolution that will improve our health, that will strengthen our economy.”

Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) said, “Investing in dealing with the climate crisis means investing the creation of millions of good-paying jobs, it means investing in dealing with the crisis in a decisive manner that meets the moment, it means lowering energy costs for everyday Americans, and it means meeting the promises that President Biden indicated he would undertake to deal with the climate crisis that we confront. We’re going to get climate action done, we’re going to get the Build Back Better Act done, we’re going to do it together.”

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) said, “Addressing the climate crisis means jobs. Lots of jobs, good jobs. And the Build Back Better Act recognizes this and makes bold, bold investments in cutting emissions, but also in growing a workforce. So together with the infrastructure bill that President Biden signed just the other day, the Build Back Better Act will create more than 200 million jobs over each of the next five years. That’s really significant, and really meaningful.”

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) said, “The choice could not be more clear. It is a choice between urgent action or anything less than that, which would be the equivalent of inaction. We have already witnessed where we’re headed with inaction: in El Paso Texas we are seeing increasing triple digit temperatures, longer, hotter summers in a community that has long been economically disadvantaged.” 

Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) said, “With the Build Back Better Act, we have the opportunity to deliver another critical part of the puzzle in our fight against climate change. This historic bill will include key incentives for our families to move over to electric vehicles, wind and solar power, and for utilities to upgrade their power grids and transition to clean energy sources. And it will create jobs: jobs, jobs, and more jobs. It will do all this while cutting taxes for hardworking New Jersey families. For New Jersey, for our planet, we must take action, we must tackle climate change and take the steps to protect our children and our grandchildren.”

Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) said, “When we make bold investments in climate, we’re not just protecting our planet. We’re lifting up millions of families with the jobs of the future. So we must pass the Build Back Better Act and its historic investments in climate action. Anything less would be a moral failure for our children and our grandchildren.”

Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-02) said, “Those of you who have visited Colorado know that this time of year, we’re usually skiing and snowboarding. But climate change has completely altered the calculus for the Rocky Mountain West. And the reality is, these wildfires will be here to stay. These are the stakes. This is why we are pursuing the bold climate action that we are poised to enact in just a few short days here in Washington D.C. The stakes really could not be higher […] And it is life or death for my constituency.” 

Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) said, “With the investments from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act, we are not only mitigating and investing in jobs for clean energy, but we’re also addressing issues like the drought, like wildfires, while creating great jobs, reducing energy costs, and addressing environmental injustice, which has plagued our society for generations. This is the time to act.”