After over two years of not being able to meet in person, IPL colleagues gathered together at Gallaudet University for our National Conference! Gallaudet University is a significant part of the local DC community as the world’s only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. The campus is a beautiful location in the NE Ward of DC, roughly a mile away from the Capitol Building. It was a meaningful couple of days sharing knowledge and grounding ourselves in our faithful call to act on climate.
After two days of learning and engaging with one another, we made our way to Capitol Hill for our lobby day. There were three main focus areas for our lobby day – the Reconciliation package (the bill formerly known as Build Back Better), the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, and International Climate Finance.
In terms of the Reconciliation package, Senator Manchin has had a series of bipartisan discussions to propose a deal, but it is unclear what the outcome of those negotiations will be. Outside of those meetings, we know conversations between Manchin and Schumer have resumed and have been going well. Additionally, Senate Finance Committee Staff are now involved with negotiations and worked out any conflicts with the House Ways and Means Committee. There is a strong sense that we are getting closer to an announcement of a framework for the bill, which is good news. Now is the time to keep pushing Senators to get the bill over the finish line.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is currently awaiting a vote in Congress. As a reminder, this bill will provide $1.4 billion in funding to support the conservation and recovery of America’s at risk wildlife. Check to see if your Representatives and Senators are co-sponsors of the bill!
Next month we will see several SCOTUS decisions released, including WV v. EPA. This case would determine EPA’s authority to regulate pollution from power plants, and has serious implications for public health and our ability to take action on climate change. Coal companies want to tear down the safeguards that protect the air we breathe so they can pollute without limits. With climate impacts piling up and the cost of inaction rising daily it is ever more apparent that bold action is urgently needed.