The letter below was sent to the House of Representatives in opposition to the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, a.k.a. the “Default on America Act”
April 25, 2023
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Oppose the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, a.k.a. the “Default on America Act”
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) believes that everyone has a right to clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate protected by a just and equitable democracy. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
LCV urges you to vote NO on the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, a.k.a. the “Default on America Act,” which would require giveaways to the oil and gas industry and other polluters in exchange for not causing an economic default crisis from the federal government failing to pay its past expenses. The extreme and sweeping Default on America Act would repeal the clean energy tax incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act, impose ten years of draconian spending caps for environmental and other programs, and pass unrelated and harmful policies that would gut public input to federal permitting decisions, worsen environmental injustice, and stymie any administration’s actions to safeguard communities, consumers, workers, and the environment, while only raising the debt limit until March 2024. Congress has regularly raised the debt limit with bipartisan cooperation or without incident, including three times during the Trump administration. Congress must fulfill its most basic obligation to ensure we will pay our nation’s debts, and without attacking our environment and public health.
The Default on America Act would repeal the clean energy tax incentives from the popular and historic Inflation Reduction Act, which has already catalyzed billions of dollars of new private sector manufacturing investments and is well on its way to creating a projected 1.3 million new, good-paying jobs all across the country. The IRA is crucial to meeting the U.S. commitment to cut climate pollution roughly in half by 2030 in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to addressing environmental injustice while helping communities dependent upon fossil fuels to make the transition to a clean energy economy. The Default on America Act would roll back all of these major climate, clean energy, and manufacturing investments, threatening job growth and robbing families of these cost-saving opportunities.
The Default on America Act would also impose harsh limits on future spending that would starve the federal agencies that safeguard our families, communities, and environment. Raising the debt ceiling ensures the federal government can cover past spending that has already been approved and directed by Congress. If passed, the Default on America Act would lead to an approximately 22% cut for environmental programs. For example, these cuts could hinder the EPA’s Brownfields program, which cleans up pollution primarily in predominantly communities of color, former industrial centers, and low wealth communities. Cutting just this one program would result in 308 fewer properties assessed, 132 fewer sites made ready for anticipated use, and 29 fewer properties cleaned up within the next year alone.
The Default on America Act would pass sweeping, harmful changes to longstanding, critical environmental and public health protections. This bill includes H.R. 1, the Polluters Over People Act, a dirty, dangerous package of bills that would require new fossil fuel leasing and drilling, exacerbate the climate crisis, worsen environmental injustice, and increase toxic pollution that threatens our health. This legislation would also undermine bedrock environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by cutting the most impacted local communities out of the federal permitting process and severely limiting access to judicial recourse. The bill also includes the REINS Act, which would effectively end the ability of the federal government to enact safeguards for communities, workers, consumers, and the environment by allowing an anti-environment Congress to veto certain executive actions they disagree with, disregarding the rulemaking process and public input.
For all these reasons, we urge you to oppose the Limit, Save, Grow Act, a.k.a. the Default on America Act. LCV will strongly consider including votes on this legislation in the 2023 Scorecard. If you would like more information, please reach out to a member of our government relations team.
Gene Karpinski President