Primary and Supporting Asks - 2020
This training reviews the updates and context for CCL's 2020 Primary and Supporting Asks as well as guidance for lobby teams as they plan their virtual June 2020 meetings.
2020 Primary Ask
Because of the pandemic, CCL is doing things a little differently this year. Many of you may feel like your member of Congress is unable or unwilling to consider legislation for climate at this time. We expect this to be true both for some Democratic and some Republican offices. Consequently, we are providing a primary ask focused on H.R. 763, as well as a “COVID-sensitive” ask. Which one is right for you? As ever, CCL trusts our volunteers to make the right determination for their members of Congress, in consultation with the Liaison for that member of Congress.
- CCL’s primary ask of members of both chambers of Congress is: to support the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R.763).
- CCL’s COVID-sensitive ask is: to cosponsor the Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act (H.R.2156/S.1232).
The primary ask should be made in every meeting, unless your member is already a cosponsor of the Energy Innovation Act and/or the RECLAIM Act. If your member is already a cosponsor of the Energy Innovation Act and/or the RECLAIM Act, then focus on thanking them, finding out what support they could use in the district for this action, and perhaps how they could help recruit other sponsors or support the bill publicly. CCL’s How To Work With Existing Cosponsors training provides more recommendations.
If your member of Congress agrees to cosponsor the Energy Innovation Act during your lobby meeting, they will know what to do to take that step (i.e. contact Rep. Deutch's office). Same goes for the RECLAIM Act (i.e. contact Rep. Cartwright’s or Sen. Manchin’s office). If they agree to cosponsor or express significant interest in sponsoring either bill, please inform our CCL legislative staff by emailing email@example.com.
Using Supporting Asks
You should always be clear that what you want is our primary ask. However, many members of Congress may not be ready to support the Energy Innovation Act (or are already cosponsors). Previous meetings with the office will give you a good idea of what answer you will get to this main ask, especially since this is now our third lobby day with the bill before the Congress. Getting legislation passed is a complicated, coalition-building process in which lots of smaller steps must happen before we get a law, especially for a major bill like the Energy Innovation Act. Many members of Congress may be willing to support other bills that fit into the broader picture of addressing the climate crisis and are complementary to the Energy Innovation Act, and these could be stepping stones towards support for our bill.
Bills supporting bipartisan climate action
CCL has identified three bipartisan bills that have been introduced this Congress that could be useful supporting asks:
- USE IT Act (House) (Senate)
- Climate-Ready Fisheries Act (House)
- BEST Act (House) (Senate)
- Growing Climate Solutions Act (House) (Senate)
Our primary objective in promoting these bills is to encourage bipartisanship on climate in Congress. These bills all have co-sponsors of both parties, all are complementary to the Energy Innovation Act, and all address policy issues that a carbon price does not. They are also all bills that make sense to move forward on as we deal with the current pandemic. Descriptions of each bill are in the Supporting Ask Resource.
These asks are not exhaustive, and if there is a bill your group would like to use as a supporting ask that is not on this list, please contact CCL’s Sr. Director of Government Affairs, Ben Pendergrass, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should use your best judgment when deciding whether you want to make one or more of these bills a supporting ask. If any of them are a source of conflict within your group, please pick a different supporting ask.
Other Supporting Asks
If you have been working on other supporting asks, such as holding a bipartisan briefing on local climate impacts, holding a virtual public forum in the district, or are continuing a conversation about the Climate Solutions Caucus in the House or the Senate, it is fine to continue with those. Note, CCL is asking you not to ask your Senators to join the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus at this time as the current members prefer to keep this as a small caucus. It is great to let your Senator know that it exists and that you are excited about Senators working together to make climate a bridge issue. The Senate Climate Solutions Caucus (more info) was formed in 2019 by Senator Michael Braun (R-IN) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). If your continued conversation on the House Climate Solutions Caucus leads to interest in joining, interested Republican offices should speak with Corey Schrodt (Corey.Schrodt@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Rooney’s office, and interested Democrats should speak to Josh Lipman (Josh.Lipman@mail.house.gov) in the office of co-chair Ted Deutch.
Working With Existing Cosponsors of H.R.763
If your member is already a cosponsor, then focus on thanking them, finding out what support they could use in the district for this action, and perhaps how they could help recruit other sponsors or support the bill publicly. The How To Work With Existing Cosponsors training page provides more recommendations.
Intro & Agenda
Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act
Additional Q&A Discussion
- Dr. Danny Richter
Intro & Agenda
Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act
- Danny Richter