Making Primary & Supporting Asks
An ask is just what it sounds like: asking a member of Congress 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 main 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. 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 four bipartisan bills that have been introduced this Congress that could be useful supporting asks. Our primary objective in promoting these bills is to encourage bipartisanship on climate in Congress. These bills are complementary to the Energy Innovation Act and address policy issues that a carbon price does not. CCL is not formally endorsing these bills, but believes they are worthwhile for members of Congress to consider and will move the needle in the right direction. Descriptions of each bill are in the appendix below.
- Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act
- Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2019
- Disclosing Aid Spent to Ensure Relief Act (DISASTER) Act)
- Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act of 2019
This list is not exhaustive, and if there is a bill your group would like to use as a secondary ask that is not on this list, please contact CCL’s Sr. Director of Government Affairs, Ben Pendergrass, at email@example.com. 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, pick a different supporting ask.
If you wish to ask your member of Congress to support any of these bills, you and your group should do the research on your own and be prepared to answer any questions that might come up without input from CCL staff. Lobby teams for the DC lobby day should NOT use this supporting ask without input and agreement from the liaison and local group(s).
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. This one-page guide on working with existing cosponsors provides more recommendations.
Other Supporting Asks
Ask your Representative to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, and to reach out to a colleague across the aisle to join with them. Appropriate for any member in the House.
- Interested Republican offices should speak with Corey Schrodt (Corey.Schrodt@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Rooney's office if they have questions.
- Interested Democrats should speak to Josh Lipman (Joshua.Lipman@mail.house.gov) in the office of co-chair Ted Deutch if they have questions.
If you have been working on other supporting asks, such as holding a bipartisan briefing on local climate impacts, or doing a site visit, or holding a public forum in the district, it is fine to continue with those.