Reviewing Primary and Supporting Asks

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This training reviews the updated context for CCL's June 2022 Primary and Supporting Asks as well as guidance for lobby teams as they plan their June meetings. This is a recommended training for any CCL volunteer planning on being a part of their group's June 2022 Lobby Meeting (as well as June Lobby Training #1 - CCL's Legislative Plan).

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June 2022's Primary Asks

Note: the Watch and Listen tabs on this page will be updated after tonight's following training: Lobby Training #2: Primary & Supporting Asks (Thurs. May 26th, 8 pm ET)

This June, CCL's three Primary Asks Resource (one-page handouts) are organized based on the political party and the congressional chamber you’re meeting with:

  1. Democrats (Senate & House): Help America Meet President Biden’s Climate Pledge
  2. Republicans (Senate House Moderate): Use A Supporting Ask
  3. Republicans (House Populist): Help America Win: Have a Look at a Carbon Border Adjustment

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1. Democrats (Senate & House): Help America Meet President Biden’s Climate Pledge

Meeting the goal of a 50% reduction below 2005 emissions by 2030 is very important for the climate. With the current make up of the Supreme Court, we cannot rely on executive action or regulations to help us meet this pledge. Congress must act to accomplish this goal.  

2. Republicans (Senate House Moderate): Use A Supporting Ask

Democrats are thinking of nothing but reconciliation to address climate, and Republicans are unhappy about being left out of the process. It remains important to continue notching up bipartisan progress on climate. The four supporting asks we’re using this year can help us do that.

  • Why?
    • Long term thinking: while national attention is on Democrats, get Republicans to go as far as possible before next Congress
    • Supporting ask bills now make it easier once in a divided Congress
    • Build momentum: good experiences being pro-climate action

3. Republicans (House Populist): Help America Win: Have a Look at a Carbon Border Adjustment

America is winning when it comes to low-carbon manufacturing, and prominent elected Republicans have highlighted carbon border adjustments as a policy that can help us keep that edge. We’re asking them here to take a deeper look. 

  • Why?
    • Uses language and framing they are comfortable with
    • Responds to evidence that leaders within this group find this an interesting approach
    • Best chance for setting up carbon pricing discussions in a future, divided Congress with an EU CBAM in place 

Note: If your member of Congress agrees to cosponsor during your lobby meeting, they will know what to do to take that step (i.e., contact the office of the bill’s lead sponsor). If they agree to cosponsor or express significant interest in sponsoring, please inform our CCL legislative staff by emailing danny@citizensclimate.org


Segments for Member of Congress -June 2022

Resource: PDF of Segments for Member of Congress -June 2022

Senate Democrats:
 Senate Democrats as a rule are going to be pretty open to bipartisan climate solutions and open to supporting most climate legislation that comes to the floor and most are ready to support a carbon price if given the opportunity. A lot of these members feel they are already there on climate and don’t need to be lobbied on climate action. In their view Republicans are the problem, not them. However, they still need to hear from constituents that climate is a priority, even in the face of all the other challenges in the world.

Senate Republicans:  Most Senate Republicans believe that climate change is real, largely driven by human activity, and are open to federal action to address it. They are willing to support bipartisan action to a degree, like the Growing Climate Solutions Act, USE IT, BEST Act, etc. if it is not targeting the fossil fuel industry or a mandate. However, there is still more work to do not only to grow the ambition of the policies Senate Republicans are willing to support, but also prevent the repeal of progress on climate. Doing both of these things will be important over the next decade. 

House Rank-and-File (Moderate) Democrats: House rank-and-file Democrats view federal action on climate change as a top priority. They are eager to support meaningful climate solutions, particularly bipartisan solutions. House rank-and-file Democrats typically vote as a block on climate policy, with their party leadership (which is why we characterize them as “rank-and-file”). There are generally two subsets on climate within the category of Rank-and-file Democrats: roughly 100 members who will actively seek out opportunities to introduce bills and opportunities to collaborate across climate policy areas and 20 to 25 members who are considered moderate who have more nuanced positions on climate policy. They will usually support climate legislation when it is brought to the floor but only after consideration of the impact on their district, industry, agriculture, and American households. These Members will usually only lead on climate policies when there is a direct connection to their district. House rank and file members are most likely to belong to the New Democratic Coalition, or the Blue Dog Coalition

House Progressive Democrats: House Progressive Democrats support a much larger government and expanded social safety net with a focus on addressing economic, social, and racial inequality. House Progressive Democrats are vehemently committed to realizing sweeping federal action on climate change. They focus on environmental and climate policies that address longstanding environmental justice issues. House Progressive Democrats strongly prioritize climate. These members sometimes voice opposition on specific climate policies because they don’t view them as going far enough or do not address other social priorities as well. Most are members of the House Progressive Caucus

House Moderate Republicans: These Members firmly believe that climate change is real, largely driven by human activity, and must be addressed by federal policy. They are often keen on market-based and all-of-the-above energy policies, and eager to develop bipartisan climate and environmental solutions. These members frequently break from their party on a variety of policy issues, including occasionally supporting stringent environmental regulations and mandates. There are roughly 30-35 House Moderate Republicans and they are members of the Tuesday Group Caucus (Republican Governing Group Caucus). They frequently work with Democratic members to develop bipartisan climate legislation that addresses a specific issue in their district.

House Populist Republicans: These Members are highly critical of the government, seeing most actions as wasteful and inefficient, and highly critical of our economic system as a whole, believing it is flawed, unfairly favoring powerful interests. This group includes two subsets on climate: a small group that are members of the Conservative Climate Caucus and the remaining majority that do not believe in climate change or do not support federal action on the issue. All of these members are often skeptical of climate science and view the left's response as fear-mongering. House Populist Republicans strongly oppose additional federal environmental regulations and mandates. When these Republicans do engage on environmental issues, they focus on deregulation, energy independence, global competitiveness, and American innovation. These members are likely part of the House Freedom Caucus, and the Republican Study Committee

Context For Each Segment With June's Primary Asks

Senate Democrat Context

  • Open to bipartisan climate solutions 
  • Ready to support a carbon price 
  • Still need to hear from constituents considering other challenges/priorities
  • Pushback: You should go talk to Manchin
    • No, you should go talk to Manchin! It’s up to you to make this work. We are counting on you to make the most of this opportunity for the climate.

House Democrat Context

  • Federal climate action is a top priority 
  • Eager to support (bipartisan) climate solutions 
  • Typically vote as a block on climate policy 
  • Pushback: This is in the Senate’s hands
    • Yes, but it will again be in your hands. When it is, we want you to seize this opportunity to make major progress to our science-based nationally determined contribution (NDC).

House Progressive Context

  • Support an expanded social safety net, including an environmental justice focus 
  • Committed to realizing sweeping federal action on climate change
  • Sometimes voice opposition on certain climate policies
  • Pushback: It’s not big enough
    • The climate provisions of the reconciliation package would be the biggest investment we’ve ever made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Senate Republican Context

  • Believe that climate change is real, largely driven by human activity, and are open to federal action to address it
  • Willing to support bipartisan action to a degree (GCSA, USE IT, BEST Act)
  • Work to grow the ambition of the policies they’re willing to support, and prevent the repeal of climate progress
  • Pushback: Depends on the supporting ask

House Moderate Republican Context

  • Believe that climate change is real, largely driven by human activity, and are open to federal action to address it
  • Keen on market-based and all-of-the-above energy policies, and eager to develop bipartisan climate and environmental solutions
  • Frequently break from their party including occasionally supporting stringent environmental regulations and mandates.
  • Pushback: Depends on the supporting ask

House Populist Republican Context

  • Highly critical of the government / economic system
  • Often skeptical of climate science and view the left's response as fear-mongering
  • Pushback: China is the bad actor
    • This is exactly how we hold them to account. Once the EU implements a CBAM, it will be easier for other countries that have carbon prices, including China, to do so. We are asking you to get ahead of them by looking at this.
CCL's June Supporting Asks

CCL’s Threshold for Supporting Asks:

  • Achieves strategic goals
  • Bipartisan 
  • Complementary to the Energy Innovation Act

*This year, more focus for the Supporting Asks has been placed on Republicans than Democrats

Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA)

  • Strategic Significance: Getting farmers onside with climate solutions
  • Establishes a Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider & Third-Party Verifier Certification Program
  • Establishes USDA Certification 
  • Organizes an advisory council 
  • USDA report to assess progress in carbon markets
  • Recommended Supporting ask for the House, Primary ask for Moderate House Republicans 
Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade (FOREST) Act
  • Strategic Significance: Republican enthusiasm for planting trees (Trillion Trees Act)
  • Increases reporting transparency for international supply chains for goods produced from illegally deforested lands 
  • Assistance to reduce illegal deforestation
  • Deforestation included in U.S. financial crime criteria
  • Purchasing preference for deforestation-free products
  • Recommended Primary ask for Senate Republicans, House Moderate Republicans
National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy (NCARS) Act
  • Strategic Significance: Salience of climate impacts, upstream climate considerations in decision making 
  • Requires unified national approach to climate adaptation and resilience efforts
  • Authorizes a new White House position to lead the national climate adaptation effort and Strategy development process
  • Supports the establishment of interagency resilience Working Groups and a non-federal Partners Council 
  • Recommended Primary ask for Senate Republicans, House Moderate Republicans
Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act
  • Strategic Significance: Gives states a greater financial stake in solutions
  • Creates funding streams for coastal infrastructure and resilience efforts for vulnerable communities  threatened by sea level rise and coastal erosion
  • Revenue sharing model for federal offshore wind revenue with states
  • Amends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA)
  • Recommended Supporting ask for the Senate 
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Final Thoughts

Previous Supporting Asks

Many of CCL's previous supporting asks are being implement as part of the BIF (Bipartisan Infrastructure Package) or included in the potential Reconciliation Package

  • ESIC: duplicated with the CEAA, in Reconciliation 
  • SCALE: included in BIF (passed the Senate)
  • Hope for Homes: not bipartisan, largely included in Reconciliation
  • RECLAIM: coalition is not pursuing it as a stand alone bill 

Conclusion

  • We hope that using segments help you think more strategically about your members of Congress 
  • The primary asks are about meeting opportunities of the moment, and setting ourselves up for the future
  • The supporting asks are more important in Republican offices
Length
Press play to start the video (33m 39s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(from beginning)

Member of Congress Segments
(2:45)

June 2022 Primary Asks
(9:34)

June 2022 Supporting Asks
(23:22)

Final Notes On This Moment 
(30:43)

Q&A Discussion
(separate link: https://vimeo.com/714309341)
Instructor(s)
  • Dr. Danny Richter
Downloads

Download or View the Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (33m 39s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(from beginning)

Member of Congress Segments
(2:45)

June 2022 Primary Asks
(9:34)

June 2022 Supporting Asks
(23:22)

Final Notes On This Moment 
(30:43)

Q&A Discussion
(separate link: https://vimeo.com/714309341)
Instructor(s)
  • Dr. Danny Richter
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Training Resources

To prepare yourself, research the full suite of resources for planning a meeting with a member of Congress.