Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, said he’s willing to shut down the government for the sake of the climate, and he’s not alone. He, along with 59 members of the House Progressive Caucus, are expressing deep concern about permitting provisions for oil and gas leases that are set to be included in an upcoming government spending package.
In a soon to be released letter, the House Progressive Caucus wrote, “Such a move would force members to choose between protecting [Environmental Justice] communities from further pollution or funding the government. We urge you to ensure that these provisions are kept out of a continuing resolution or any other must-pass legislation this year.”
“Today, I beg of my colleagues that, at this moment, when the future of the world is literally at stake, that we have the courage to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and to tell them, and the politicians they sponsor, that the future of the planet is more important than their short-term profits,” Sen. Sanders said during a speech on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, confirmed Wednesday that he intends to add the permitting reform to the continuing resolution. This side deal was made between Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, to get the Inflation Reduction Act approved. Manchin said it will streamline energy projects.
The continuing resolution needs to be approved by Sept. 30, or the government will run out of funding and shut down. Senate leadership hopes to reach a deal that will last through Dec. so they have time to campaign before the midterm elections and come up with a permanent solution for next year.
Continuing resolutions keep funding going at its current level. Congress can agree to make some changes, but Republicans said they do not want too many additions.
“I think the cleaner the CR the better,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, told reporters.
- $11.7 Billion in economic and security assistance for Ukraine.
- $22.4 Billion for COVID-19, including testing and research for the next round of vaccines.
- $3.9 Billion for the monkeypox response.
- Funding for natural disaster relief.