GOP Lawmakers Slam $8 Billion Climate Corps Proposal

Republicans have slammed an $8 billion plan to train tens of thousands of Americans as part of his American Climate Corps program.

20,000 Green Jobs For America

President Biden wants to triple the size of the American Climate Corps job program, but his proposal is being slammed by GOP lawmakers as “woke,” “stupid,” and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The program was launched in September last year as an initiative to train 20,000 young Americans for “green” jobs, mainly in clean energy and climate resilience. But during his State of the Union address earlier this month, Biden announced his plan to triple the size of the program in the coming decade. 

“Patterned after the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, I launched the Climate Corps to put 20,000 young people to work in the forefront of our clean energy future,” Biden announced at the SOTU. “I’ll triple that number in a decade.”

$8 Billion Bill

The speech was followed by the Biden administration’s proposed budget plan, which included an outline to add 50,000 jobs to the Climate Corps workforce per year, which would cost upward of $8 billion. And Republican lawmakers weren’t impressed with the proposal. 

Most notable was a social media post by the Senate Western Caucus, a group that represents majority Right-leaning lawmakers from Western states who work to promote “the fundamental principles of the West.”

“Not to be dramatic,” the Caucus shared in a social media post responding to the announcement. “But lighting $8 billion on fire would probably be a better use of money and time.”

Other Republicans Agree

Texas Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw also agreed with the post, calling the proposal “that stupid.” The Republican National Committee was another group that took aim at the announcement, listing it as one of several items on Biden’s 2025 budget proposal that they considered to be “Woke BS.”

Oklahoma Representative Josh Breechen also slammed the Climate Corps program as a whole, calling it mismanagement of government priorities.

Climate Over Border?

Breechen took to social media to call it  “a radical green energy training program that will focus on ‘equity and environmental justice.’ This is what the Biden Administration prioritizes instead of securing our border.”

Democrat Representatives who have supported the Climate Corps program were quick to hit back at Republican sniping.

When asked to respond to the Western Caucus post, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters that the group of lawmakers “would know a thing or two about fires and why they’re encountering it without a climate corps.”

“Maybe their leadership is not particularly what we should be looking towards right now,” Ocasio-Cortez concluded.

Denial of Climate Change

Maine Rep Chellie Pingree suggested that these harsh criticisms were the result of  a “fundamental denial of climate change that is in front of us every day.”

The newest proposal was the first time Biden has requested additional funding for the program since it was introduced and the fierce GOP backlash suggests it will be a long, hard road to convince the opposition to support broader climate initiatives.

The American Climate Corps was seen as both a strategy for boosting youth unemployment and helping to curb the growing effects of climate change in the US. 

Modern Answer to Roosevelt’s Civilian Crops

It has been looked at as a contemporary equivalent to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and 40s, established by President Franklin D Roosevelt to combat unemployment rates during and after the Great Depression.

“The American Climate Corps, just in its first year of recruitment, will put to work a new diverse generation of more than 20,000 Americans doing the important task of conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, [and] deploying clean energy,” said White House national climate adviser Ali Zaidi when the program was first announced.

According to Zaidi, it would also implement “energy efficiency technologies that will cut consumer costs for the American people, and advancing environmental justice so long overdue in so many places.”

The post GOP Lawmakers Slam $8 Billion Climate Corps Proposal first appeared on Swift Feed.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nicole Glass Photography.

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