Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Including The Civilian Climate Corps In The Upcoming Budget Reconciliation Package

July 20, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to address climate change in a big and bold way including the need for a strong Civilian Climate Corps in the upcoming budget reconciliation package. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Right now, there is a fire burning in Oregon the size of New York City. A heat wave recently rolled through the Pacific Northwest that melted power lines and cracked roadways in two. Hurricanes and flooding in the East have battered one community after another. Earlier this year, a snowstorm engulfed the typically-scorching state of Texas and claimed the lives of hundreds, hundreds, of people. And of course we saw what happened in Europe with the flooding.

These extreme, once-in-a-century weather events are now commonplace. The dangers of climate change are here and they are real. The dangers of climate change.

Fighting climate change will take not only new technologies and new ways of thinking, but something more basic: it will take people. Lots of people, working together to fight climate change from the ground up.

This morning, I joined with my Democratic colleagues from the House and Senate to push a bold new approach to fighting climate change that will help create thousands of good paying jobs in the process: the Civilian Climate Corps.

The idea at the core of the Civilian Climate Corps harkens back to the New Deal, when hundreds of thousands of Americans were put to work on conservation and infrastructure projects across the country. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt needed ways to put Americans to work—and to do it fast—and he found a way to do it while having those workers do something enormously productive for the country, building public works, and dams, and bridges, and airfields, and flood and forest-fire prevention.

The Civilian Conservation Corps—as it was called at the time—was a brilliant idea, a success that should be harnessed once again, this time to fight climate change. The bottom line is that we need a CCC for the 21st Century.

We can put Americans to work on climate and resiliency projects; we can put Americans to work on clean energy initiatives across the country; we can put Americans to work helping poorer and more disconnected communities face the challenge of climate change. And we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, particularly focusing on the poorer communities, the communities of color that have been left out in the past.

The Civilian Climate Corps can be one of the largest employment projects and one of the largest environmental projects—at the same time.

And I believe the Senate should work to make this a reality this year.

I believe the CCC, the Civilian Climate Corps, should be one of the pillars of the American Jobs and Families Plan, and as Majority Leader, I will ensure that CCC be included in the upcoming budget reconciliation package in as big and bold a way as possible. 

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