fb

Washington Report – July 2024

Jul 10, 2024 | Blog, Washington Report

Written by: Madison Mayhew

July marks the middle of summer vacation for many families, many of whom travel to the nation’s capital for the Fourth of July. In addition to the muggy weather and sweaty crowds around the National Mall, the holiday brings unhealthy levels of air pollution. In fact, July Fourth often brings the region’s worst air quality of the entire year. 

The Latest on Climate Policy

Budget/ Appropriations

Budget season is in full swing with both House and Senate Appropriations committees undergoing markup and vote processes. The House has proposed several egregious cuts to important climate and environmental justice programing. 

As America faces record-breaking heat waves, the proposed House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill for Fiscal Year

2025 (FY25) would defund climate resilience and emissions reduction programs while mandating new fossil fuel lease sales. Furthermore, it would slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 20% while eliminating environmental justice programs entirely, opening the door to more hazardous pollution and cutting impacted communities out of the decision making process. 

Additionally, the house continues to push for harmful policy riders. As people of faith, we believe budgets are moral documents. Therefore, we must keep fighting for strong funding to protect our communities and our Sacred Earth. Congress must pass a clean budget without any poison pills. 

Farm Bill 

The House Committee on Agriculture passed their version of the Farm Bill – “The Farm, Food, and National Security Act” in May. We were opposed to the proposal for many reasons, but especially for the significant cuts to SNAP ($30 Billion) and the removal of the “climate guardrails” of the designated IRA funds for climate smart agriculture. Here is a helpful breakdown from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Majority Leader of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow, and Minority Leader of the Committee, John Boozman, have introduced their own frameworks for the Farm Bill. Boozman’s framework mirrors the house version, and Stabenow’s version supports many of our priorities around conservation and supporting farmers. The Senate Ag committee hasn’t scheduled a markup for either bill, so the path forward is still unclear at the moment. In the meantime, we’re continuing to meet with offices to educate around our priorities. Check out the action alert below to contact your Members of Congress to prioritize a Faithful Farm Bill. 

Congressional Review Act Resolutions 

In the past 6 months, we’ve seen a wave of important EPA, DOE, and other agency finalized rules establishing standards to safeguard communities from harmful pollution from the power and transportation sectors and help families save on energy costs while increasing energy efficiency of their home appliances. 

Congressional Review Act proposals have been introduced to override these agency standards and prevent the administration from achieving our climate goals by limiting its ability to protect people’s health, safety, and futures from harmful pollution. The CRAs were originally scheduled for a vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee late in June, but the vote was canceled. It will likely be rescheduled later this month, possibly as early as this week. 

We expect the CRA attacks to continue throughout this year and will need your help urging your members of Congress to oppose them.

SCOTUS 

At the end of June, the Supreme Court released their decisions in the Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper and Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo cases. The final decisions ended decades of legal precedent, known as the Chevron Doctrine, and undermined the power of federal agencies to implement legislation to address the pressing issues of our time.

Under a long-settled legal rule, the Chevron deference doctrine, administrative agencies are trusted to implement complex, often scientific, statutes, thus ensuring those with expertise and professional experience handle interpretation rather than generalist judges. The rule also recognizes that when Congress writes these statutes and directs agencies to carry them out, federal agencies are empowered to fill those gaps accordingly. 

This decision to repeal Chevron deference shifts power away from our elected branches of government and puts it in the hands of unelected judges who can serve their personal views instead of the law. With Chevron deference eliminated, politically motivated judges can substitute their own policy views for the judgments of expert agency officials. This will help industries, like the fossil fuel industry, and ideological activists sidestep government regulations that protect our communities. 

The industries and lawyers behind this case filed it as part of a decades-long campaign to shift policymaking power towards courts, which are proving to be more open to their deregulatory agenda.

IPL Press Statement Here

Earthjustice Explainer here 

Action Opportunities 

Tell Congress to prioritize a Faithful Farm Bill 

People of faith believe in the moral call to uplift human dignity, love our neighbors, and protect our Sacred Earth. 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.

Take action here

Are you ready to vote?

Are you ready to vote?

Visit IPL’s Faith Votes Campaign site now to check your voter registration status.

We believe elections are a referendum on the values that will shape our future. Voting is how we create a society based on our shared values. That’s why IPL offers a Faithful Voter Reflection Guide, which will soon be available for download or purchase. Join us for a webinar about our guide on July 23 at 3pm ET. Learn more about the gathering and register here

Watch IPL President Rev. Susan Hendershot announce the campaign and share why voting is important to her:

​​​​​IPL has partnered with BallotReady to provide everything on your ballot – in one place!  You can find out how to vote, research every candidate and measure on your ballot, check your voter registration status, and get to know your elected officials at every level of government.

Share this tool with your family and friends, and stay tuned for resources to help your faith community use BallotReady to get out the vote.

Let’s join together to protect our Sacred Earth and create a better world for current and future generations.

Find Your State

Locate IPL programs, activities, and resources in your state.

Take Action

Write Congress, sign petitions, and support stronger EPA standards NOW

Get Updates

Join our e-mail list to stay up to date

Donate Now

Help IPL mobilize people of faith to steward Creation

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This