2022 Legislative Plan

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Join CCL's Government Affairs staff for a training that will provide up to the moment insights on the dynamics in Congress by segment, deepening understanding for the opportunity in the remainder of the 2022 session, considerations for what messages resonate and the role CCL can play within our December lobby meetings.   This is a recommended training for any CCL volunteer planning on being a part of their group's December 2022 Lobby Meeting (as well as Lobby Training #2 - Reviewing CCL's Primary & Supporting Asks).

TOC and Guide Section
Click the "Watch" tab to view the video 

Click on the "Watch" tab above for the video and the slides from the Lobby Training #1: Government Affairs October 10th, 2022 training.

Legislative Update
Congress is now out until after the election.
  • Sen. Manchin pulled his permitting reform bill from the continuing resolution after a quick process with limited chance for input, and opposition among Republicans as well as some progressive and rank and file Democrats.
    • As a topic, permitting reform will remain an important issue, and a topic that will keep coming up. It’s important to figure out how to provide  clean energy deployment to houses and businesses. 
    • For more resources and discussion see CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli's post on the Nerd Corner about permitting reform as well as what CCL's Vice President of Strategic operations Tony Sirna posted on the sitewide forums.
  • When Congress returns they still need to pass another series of funding bills - leading to a packed schedule after the election, including a long term continuing resolution, re-authorizing the NDAA, and possibly an end of the year omnibus.  

Overall, keep in mind: 

  1. U.S. politics has been in a changed landscape since June. The biggest climate package ever has been signed into law and that is something to celebrate!  It was never a foregone conclusion that climate would be at the center of the Inflation Reduction Act.  You as grassroots advocates  played a big role in that victory.  The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will have a very meaningful impact on emissions reductions and give us tools we have never had before to address climate change.
  2. We are not done yet. We know we need a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and hit net zero by 2050. Long term we need a carbon price to get there and that continues to be at the heart of our work. The best path to achieving this goal might look differently depending on your own individual member of Congress and what the makeup of Congress looks like next year.  We also need to build the clean energy economy faster, and preserve and expand natural carbon sinks like forests.  
  3. Congress is not done for the year yet.  We have a few more chances after the midterms to lock in  climate wins. We need to seize that opportunity now and push a couple of the supporting  asks over the finish line while we continue to work toward future climate victories.

We're going to be presenting recommendations into four groups today: Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, House Democrats and House Republicans. So why do we break it down?  We do that because the concerns of the four groups can vary and what messages work best change from group to group. 

Note: We acknowledge that there is considerable variation even within these groups, but they serve as a good place to start.  We hope from these sessions you will get a good starting place  to tailor your messaging and strategy  for your MOC.  We will give you some things you might want to focus on, but we will not have the primary ask for the December Lobby week until we get a little closer.  However, if you have meetings in Oct because you have a retiring MOC these breakouts should give you some direction.

What about redistricting?

Even though you are voting in November for your member of the 118th Congress, the outcome of that election will not seat members until Jan 2023. For our December Lobby meetings, you should still be thinking about working with your current member of Congress.  Even if you have a new district you are voting in for the election until January you are still a constituent  in your current district.    We are still in our 2022 districts (117th Congress) and are lobbying our current MOC of 2022. We have our suggested meeting request email template on Community and will soon update the ask pages.  In October the supporting "ask" bills remain active. They are what we want to get across the finish line for this Congress.  Our actionable Asks are things only currently seated members can vote on (2023 MOC cannot yet vote)  and you can help them get some important bills passed. NCARS, GCSA, FOREST Act and RISEE.  This is a huge opportunity for you to show democracy at work! CCLers are powerfully good at this!

Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats have accomplished a lot this Congress, including:

  • Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act
  • Growing Climate Solutions Act
  • CHIPS Act
  • Inflation Reduction Act - the largest climate bill in history

There are subsets of Democratic Senators regarding climate policy:

  • (1) Those actively seeking out opportunities to introduce bills and collaborate (10 - 15)
  • (2) Progressive members for whom climate is a priority but are less likely to support bipartisan solutions (< 10)
  • (3) Those that support bipartisan climate legislation when brought to the floor and only lead or oppose when there is a direct connection to their state

When working with Senate Democrats, remember:

Many feel they have already done what they can on climate and that there isn't more that can be done after the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

Messages that resonate with Senate Democrats:

  • Appreciate their climate victories this Congress
  • Reminder that they can accomplish more after the IRA
  • Climate remains a priority for their constituents, even after the accomplishments of recent months 

The goal with Senate Democrats:

Appreciation for the work they’ve done on climate 

Importance of meeting Biden’s emissions reduction pledge: push to get as much done this Congress as possible.

Remind them that more climate wins can still be achieved this Congress, by helping to push these bills over the finish line. 
  • RISEE Act 
  • Push for votes on legislation that may not be their first choice
Senate Republicans

Most Senate Republicans believe that climate change is real, driven by human activity, and are:

  • Open to federal action to address it
  • Willing to support bipartisan action
  • Some will be leaders on the issue, a few will oppose most action, and most are somewhere in the middle

When working with Senate Republicans:

  • Focus on the supporting asks 
  • Focus on support for a CBAM (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism), which eventually leads long term to considering a carbon price
  • Natural carbon sequestration with a focus on forests is an issue Republicans have led on. 
  • Building the clean energy economy faster (permitting reform). Republicans have put out their own permitting reform bill. 
Messages that resonate:
  • Importance of meaningful bipartisan climate action that Republicans can support. Avoid discussing the IRA. 
  • Tie action to addressing local climate impacts
  • Pro-business message, particularly focused around industry in the state
  • Taking climate action is beneficial to American competitiveness
  • Don't pit clean energy against fossil fuels or try to re-litigate the IRA

The goal with Senate Republicans:

  • On the short term, advance our current supporting asks:
    • FOREST Act - protects American businesses from unfair foreign competition - should be attractive to Republicans
    • NCARS - is out of committee, has significant Republican support
    • RISEE Act - also out of committee, great bill for coastal states
  • Longer term: CBAM, carbon pricing, building the clean energy economy faster 
  • Protect climate progress. Pay attention to what your member is saying about the IRA. Was it the process they object to, or some specific portion of the bill? Find out, if the topic comes up, are there provisions that they can support?
House Democrats
The context in which you’ll be engaging House Democrats: 
  • Passage of $369 billion investment towards decarbonization
  • But more work needs to be done - Congress can help by supporting other climate bills currently in Congress. 
  • Engaging on the supporting asks will help you cultivate relationships with your members of Congress in service of our long term goal of enacting carbon pricing at the federal level.
House Democrats:
  • View federal action on climate change as a top priority
  • Are eager to support meaningful climate solutions, and many hope to address environmental justice concerns
  • Exist largely as two subsets on climate: 
    • (1) actively seek out opportunities to introduce bills and collaborate across climate policy areas
    • (2)  usually support climate legislation when it is brought to the floor, but only after consideration of the impact on their district - industries, agriculture, and households.

When working with House Democrats, remember:

  • Most of them have been working on climate legislation for a long time
  • Many feel they don’t need to be lobbied on climate action
  • There is a range of urgency
  • Some have a more cautious approach 
  • Some feel that we’re moving too slowly on climate

Messages that resonate:

  • Start with appreciation! House Democrats helped pass large climate packages this Congress. 
  • Let them know that we know  we know they don’t need to be convinced to take action on climate. 
  • Build off the IRA: protect from repeal, effective implementation, and expansion to meet the nation’s emissions goals.

The goal with House Democrats:

  • Thank them for helping pass the IRA
  • Short term: there are still climate wins we can achieve this Congress
    • NCARS
    • GCSA
  • Build an emotional connection and share climate stories showing that constituents continue to want to see action on climate policies. 
  • Still need work to meet Biden’s Paris Agreement Pledge of 50% reductions by 2030: reinforce that climate is still a priority in the coming months 
  • We can’t rely on executive action or regulations to help meet that pledge - we need Congress to act
  • Long term, we are still pushing for a national price on carbon
House Republicans
Varying views of climate change, ranging from:
  • Climate change is caused by humans and should be addressed by federal policy 
  • Dismissing the existence of climate change 
Supporting Asks
  • Many Republicans should be able to get behind them 
  • We can put a lot of effort into lobbying on supporting asks 
  • Hearing from constituents has the potential to make a difference
House Republicans are going to be key to future climate victories, so we recommend:

Create a positive feedback loop to get Republicans to walk faster in the direction of greater climate action 
  • Want climate action no matter which party is in power
  • Acknowledge when progress is made!
Every positive step on climate legislation makes the next one easier. We continue to work towards a world where Democrats and Republicans are both working to advance solutions.
CCL's Bottom Lines

CCL has always viewed that the most effective way to get legislation passed is to have a laser focus on the legislation that is bipartisan and satisfies our two bottom lines: emissions reductions effectiveness while protecting lower income individuals and families.  In other words, the integrity of the following two bottom lines is essential for CCL staff to recommend support to our volunteers support for any comprehensive policy:

1.        That policy should have a reasonable expectation of large emissions reductions once implemented. We understand this to mean exceeding U.S. Individual Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under the 2015 Paris Agreement. We also understand such emissions reductions to be achievable with a single well-designed carbon pricing policy. 

2.        That policy should ensure that at the very least the two lowest income quintiles (i.e. the poorest 40%) of Americans “end up ahead.” By this, we mean that for the vast majority of households in each of those quintiles, increases in income as a result of the policy should exceed cost increases as a result of the policy.

Press play to start the video (48m 04s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis:

(0:00) Intro & Agenda
(2:43) Legislative Update
(8:38) Senate Democrats
(16:27) Senate Republicans
(27:48) House Democrats
(37:27) House Republicans
CCL Government Affairs Team:
  • Jenn Tyler
  • Kyle Kammien
  • Hardy Almes
  • Jamari Hartley
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (48m 04s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
 To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis:

(0:00) Intro & Agenda
(2:43) Legislative Update
(8:38) Senate Democrats
(16:27) Senate Republicans
(27:48) House Democrats
(37:27) House Republicans
CCL Government Affairs Team:
  • Jenn Tyler
  • Kyle Kammien
  • Hardy Almes
  • Jamari Hartley
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Lobbying Congress