Sense. Markey, Coons Civilian Climate Corps champion on MSNBC

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Civilian Climate Corps would mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through national service programs

Washington (October 6, 2021) – In case you missed it, U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) And Chris Coons (D-Del.) Joined MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell yesterday to highlight their drive to create the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) as part of the Build Back Better program.

“President Biden strongly supports [the Civilian Climate Corps], ” Senator Markey said. “Senator Schumer has just worked closely with Senator Coons and myself to ensure that it is included and that at its core it is just the issue of climate justice as this program will employ Eventually hundreds of thousands of people, 50% of whom come from communities and 50% of the funding will go to communities of color, to address historic environmental injustices that have disproportionately affected black, brown and immigrant communities, and we have strong support from the White House and the leaders who will be included.

“The [Civilian Climate Corps] is only part of the larger agenda on how we’re going to make a lasting difference on climate impact here in the United States, ” said Senator Coons. “By partnering with the 25-year-old AmeriCorps program, which already has 75,000 youth serving in every state and territory and has extensive experience in running effective national service programs – and adding to its mission bold move to make our country more climate ready, more climate resilient – we’re going to be able to send tens of thousands of new AmeriCorps members across the country. Whether they are fighting wildfires or strengthening our wetlands and coasts, we will create good jobs, create a great path for an academic opportunity, a higher salary, and a more inclusive and diverse 21st century CCC.

The two senators worked to advance legislation that puts Americans to work and helps communities deal with the climate crisis by creating the Civilian Climate Corps. They described their shared vision for the goals, standards and structure of the program this summer.

Full audio and video available here. A transcript is provided below.

Q: I join now Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Ed Markey and Democratic Senator from Delaware Chris Coons on the Judiciary Committee. Senator Coons, first of all, this is an extraordinary report. Your committee has been working on this for months. Do I ask you what alarmed you the most about this?

Senators Coons: Well Andrea this shows in detail how close we were to a real constitutional crisis that President Trump personally squeezed and pressured and threatened the Acting Attorney General to endorse his bogus and flawed stolen election theory anew. times, and it was only because of this determined effort by a small group at the senior management level within the Justice Department to insist that they would resign en masse if he went ahead. . It was the only thing that stopped Trump from doing it. We must work with the Department of Justice to restore the safeguards that protect the Department of Justice from political interference from any future President, and we will continue the ongoing investigation in the House to ensure that the final recommendations are meaningful and actionable.

Q: Now that there is so much going on, Senator Markey, I also want to ask you what Senator Schumer is saying about a debt ceiling agreement for the short term extension to December. What does this really solve? The same issue will be hanging over everyone in December, but at the same time you have to make an ongoing resolution to keep government open so why not face it now?

Senator Markey: Well, we have more time to work on a rational basis. Clearly, the Republicans were acting irresponsibly – they were endangering the confidence and credit of the United States. Here, Mitch McConnell blinked. This gives us time, until December, to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, as it is time to pass the reconciliation bill which provides all funds for child care, the free community college, to tackle the climate crisis. We can get these bills passed by the first week of December and then come back and fix this, but it’s better to have the crisis later than now because we’re still talking, obviously, for whatever its reasons. reasons, Mitch McConnell blinked. And in the meantime, we can do good things for our country without that political cloud Republicans sought to place on this agenda.

Q: And why not link that to reconciliation?

Senator Markey: Because they are completely independent. Reconciliation bills concern future spending. This is a vision for the future for our country. The debt ceiling is used to pay off debts that we have already incurred. And by the way, largely under the Republican presence, largely under a Republican-controlled House and Senate from John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to Kevin McCarthy, you name it. The litany of Republican participation in the construction of this debt is just totally populated by Republican leaders. We want to pay off these widely contracted debts printed by Republicans, and then separate the reconciliation bill, which is really Biden’s vision for the future.

Q: And, Senator Coons, I want to ask you both questions about this plan of the Civilian Climate Corps, which is part of the global plan, to employ young Americans in high paying jobs to fight climate change. How would that work, senator, for both of you?

Sen. Coons: It was a great partnership with Senator Markey on this. He has been a true leader in the fight against the climate, and this is only part of the larger agenda on how we are going to make a lasting difference on climate impact here in the United States. By partnering with the 25-year-old AmeriCorps program, which already has 75,000 youth serving in every state and territory and has extensive experience in running effective national service programs, and adding a bold mission to deliver our country more climate-ready, more climate resilient. We’re going to be able to send tens of thousands of new AmeriCorps members across the country. Whether they are fighting wildfires or strengthening our wetlands and coasts, we will create good jobs, create a great path for an academic opportunity, a higher salary, and a more inclusive and diverse 21st century CCC.

Q: And, Senator Markey, are you confident that this will be included in the final bill?

Senator Markey: There is broad bipartisan support for this kind of approach. President Biden strongly supports him. Senator Schumer just worked so closely with Senator Coons and myself to make sure he is included and at its core it just goes to the issue of climate justice because this program will ultimately employ hundreds of thousands. people, 50% of which will come from communities and 50% of the funding will go to communities of color, to address historic environmental injustices that have disproportionately affected black, brown and immigrant communities, and we have the strong support of the House Blanche and the leaders that she will be included.

Q: And finally, Senator Markey, you have been a voice in the wilderness for at least a decade trying to get regulation on Facebook and other Big Techs. And following the testimony of the whistleblowers, do you now think there is a bipartisan momentum to make this happen?

Senator Markey: Yes, first Frances Haugan – what a hero. She just posted an indictment that was hot and hot with activity on Facebook right from its inception, so now it’s time for us to pass a law to have a Bill of Rights for Children, up to 16 years old so that parents can control what information children put online and can simply shut it down if they wish, so that we can pass legislation to end this pernicious marketing to children, simply by taking advantage of their vulnerability due to their young age, and that we can do the kind of research that we need to do to supplement what we’ve just discovered to see what the mental health impacts of these online social media sites are on children in our country. I think it’s a crisis, it’s time for us to face it and I think what Frances Haugan has done is going to give us the momentum to do it this year.

Q: And Senator Coons, as someone who knows Joe Biden so well, how is he and do you think he will pull off those big contracts? Will Manchin compromise? Will Sinema compromise?

Sen. Coons: He is focused and optimistic about our chances of resolving and reconciling the Build Back Better agenda and moving it forward in the Senate and House. If we come to the end of this year and President Biden enacted a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package that will create hundreds of thousands of highly skilled, well-paying jobs, and hopefully more $ 2 trillion, Build Back Better program that over the next decade will invest in major tax reform aimed at lowering costs for working families, thereby easing challenges such as health care costs, daycares, daycares, senior care and weathering? We’re going to have a very solid mid-term program to run at the end of next year, and President Biden should be optimistic, and I think Senator Markey is joining me. We are all optimistic that we have passed the hurdle of McConnell’s obstruction of the debt ceiling. We have a clear path to finding a compromise and sending these bills to President Biden’s desk.

Q: Voices of optimism on Capitol Hill, who knows? Senators Coons and Markey, thank you both very much.


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