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 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. 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. 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 attachment below.just click on the .pdf file or blue buttons for more information.
Additional supporting asks, include asking your Representative to join the House Climate Solutions Caucus and to reach out to a colleague across the aisle to join with them. 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. 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. For more information see the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus training page.
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.