An ask is just what it sounds like: asking a member of Congress (MOC) to do something you want. This document goes over our primary ask, which we want to be brought up in all lobby meetings. It also offers a menu of secondary bills that are complementary to the Energy Innovation Act that can be a supporting ask and could provide stepping stones to gaining support for our primary ask.
What is a supporting ask?
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 to support for our bill.
Bills supporting bipartisan climate action
CCL has identified four 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 cosponsors 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 attached below (scroll down). Just click on the blue buttons for .pdf files with more information.
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 Congress Training Series
- Note: 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.