Washington Report – November 2023

Nov 1, 2023 | Washington Report, Blog

After a tumultuous race to replace Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, Republicans officially voted for Mike Johnson (LA) to take the leadership role. His record on climate is alarming, as is his support to overturn the 2020 election results

The Latest on Climate Policy


Now that the House has a Speaker, they’re going to move quickly to pass appropriations bills starting this week. As a reminder, the current budget CR ends on November 17th. Right now it looks like they’re going to pass individual appropriations bills (12 in total) in an attempt to avoid a shutdown next month. Based on the chaos from the budget fight in September, it’s unclear whether the House will be able to pass all 12 bills through or will attempt to pass another short term CR. 

In the other chamber, the Senate is working on passing a “minibus” (a combination of three appropriations bills), including the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill. 

We’re continuing to keep an eye on negotiations, but a top priority is protecting the $20 Billion in the IRA for conservation, and other key IRA programs. We want to ensure funding for the IRA remains robust AND we want a CLEAN budget without any poison pills. Checkout our faith based approps toolkit here for additional messaging guidance.

Farm Bill 

The 2018 Farm Bill expired on September 30th with most funding running out at the end of the year. The path forward for the next Farm Bill will become more clear in the coming weeks after the budget is passed. We’ve heard from some Congressional offices that a one year extension of the bill is likely. 

IPL is continuing to advocate for a series of marker bills including: 

  • The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act
  • The Agricultural Resilience Act
  • The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Improvement Act 
  • And Protecting the $20 Billion set aside in the Inflation Reduction Act for climate smart agriculture 

All of these bills help address conservation needs in the Farm Bill, and support small and medium scale farmers in implementing regenerative agriculture practices that are beneficial for our food systems and our climate goals. Use the link under Action Opportunities to contact your Member of Congress below to advocate for these priorities! 

Throughout October and upcoming in November, IPL affiliates have been lobbying Members of Congress to support these bills. Below is a lobby meeting with CA-IPL and Rep. Panetta’s office and AL-IPL and Senator Tuberville’s office. 

Action Opportunities 

Tell President Biden to Take Bold and Just Climate Action at COP28! 

IPL is collecting signatures from people of faith ahead of COP28 in Dubai. We’re calling on President Biden and the U.S. government to: 

  • Accelerate Ambition. We urge the U.S. to accelerate ambition and reduce carbon emissions to keep global warming to no more than 1.5C degrees above pre-industrial levels.  
  • Increase Climate Finance Commitments. We urge the U.S. to pay its fair share of the $100 billion commitment to climate finance through the Green Climate Fund and other finance mechanisms by increasing its commitments by 2025. 
  • Support Loss and Damage Finance. We urge the U.S. to prioritize commitments to the most vulnerable populations, such as Indigenous peoples, small island nations, least developed countries, and climate-displaced persons. 
  • Include Climate and Environmental Justice in Adaptation and Mitigation. We urge the U.S. to include climate justice and reject environmental racism in adaptation and mitigation efforts, as well as ensuring a just transition for fossil-fuel workers. We also urge the U.S. to ensure the protection of human rights, especially for Indigenous and local communities.

Sign the petition here. Deadline to sign is November 13th.

Call on Congress to Prioritize Climate in the Farm Bill 

We’re joining together with Creation Justice Ministries to urge Congress to pass a Farm Bill that promotes climate smart practices that benefit all people and protect the environment.

A Farm Bill for both people and the environment could ensure a future where all people have reliable access to healthy food, while prioritizing sustainable farming practices, and dignified treatment for those who work the land.

We’re calling on lawmakers to:

  • invest in climate-smart agriculture, 
  • invest in small and medium-scale farms while supporting the transition away from hazardous industrial farming practices, and 
  • support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (through measures such as the reduction of food waste)

Contact your Members of Congress today! 

Thank the Pope and Tell President Biden to Take Bold Climate Action

The climate crisis is taking an enormous toll on our communities and our world. Thank Pope Francis for his Laudate Deum message and tell President Biden and EPA Administrator Michael Regan to take bold climate action to finalize pollution standards by May 2024. Together with our partners, we will deliver this letter to representatives of the Vatican, the White House, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management: No drilling in the Arctic

Right now, the Bureau of Land Management is considering whether to allow more destructive oil and gas drilling — or to leave the most important Arctic wildlife habitat alone. Tell the Bureau of Land Management: No drilling in the Arctic.

Calling all drivers of faith: join us and tell Toyota to go 100% electric today!

As people of faith and conscience, we have a moral obligation to decarbonize our transportation systems, which are the biggest source of climate pollution in the US. Toyota made great environmental strides almost 25 years ago when they introduced the world to the Prius hybrid, which was revolutionary for its time. But as we fully electrify our transportation system, we need good options for affordable, 100% electric vehicles.

“Electrified” isn’t enough – it’s time for Toyota to be a leader again and step up their production of a wide array of all-electric vehicles. There is a gas-guzzling Toyota model for everyone; let’s make sure there is an all-electric Toyota model for everyone as well.

Would you like to purchase your next vehicle from Toyota, but only if they make all-electric vehicles widely available?

Join IPL here and tell Toyota to phase out internal combustion engines by 2035! Toyota needs to hear directly from its loyal consumer base. Please share your story and help pressure Toyota to speed up its transition to 100% electric vehicles!

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