Rep. Neguse Applauds Support for Civilian Climate Corps and Wildfire Recovery Funds in The President's Budget
Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, issued the following statement responding to President Bident's initial budget request. The request includes major new climate change investments -- an increase of more than $14 billion compared to 2021 --across nearly every agency to: restore the critical capacity needed to carry out their core functions and to take a whole-of-government approach to tackling climate change. The budget also continues support for Congressman Neguse's Civilian Climate Corps proposal, by proposing funds to support the next generation of conservation and wildfire resiliency workers and address the growing threat of wildfires.
"It is a new day for climate action," said Congressman Joe Neguse. "President Biden's budget proposal will restore funding across relevant agencies to protect our environment, invest in our communities and tackle the climate crisis. After the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires this year that brought damage to communities throughout our district, we're grateful that the President has answered our request and included funding for wildfire resiliency and recovery in his proposal. His plan provides further support for our Civilian Climate Corps proposal which is critical to helping our communities in the wake of this year's fires and training the next generation of wildfire resiliency and conservation workers. The plan also specifically calls for investments in multiple areas we've been advocating for, including in clean energy, zero emission vehicles, resilience and disaster planning and support for climate science. We look forward to working with the Administration, and with relevant Committees in Congress to further the priorities of our communities and pass Appropriations legislation that prioritizes recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, supports Colorado and will help us act on climate change."
Specifically the President's budget incorporates the following priorities Congressman Neguse's office has been leading on for the last few years. The proposal:
Advances support for the Civilian Climate Corps to make investments in the next generation of conservation and wildfire resiliency workers, as proposed in Congressman Neguse's 21st Century Conservation Corps Act and Civilian Climate Corps Act;
Addresses the Growing Threat from Wildfire, by providing $1.7 billion for high-priority hazardous fuels and forest resilience projects, an increase of $476 million over the 2021 enacted level; similar to the request made by Congressman Neguse recently;
Creates Good-Paying Jobs Building Clean Energy Projects, providing $2 billion to put welders, electricians, and other skilled labor to work building clean energy projects across the Nation;
Increases Demand for Zero-Emission Vehicles through Federal Procurement, including procurement of low and no-Emission buses, an initiative Congressman Neguse has championed for several years;
Invests in Climate Resilience and Disaster Planning, providing $815 million--a $540 million increase above the 2021 enacted level--to incorporate climate impacts into pre-disaster planning and projects to ensure that the Nation is rebuilding smarter and safer for the future, similar to Congressman Neguse's Climate Resilient Communities Act;
Renews America's Commitment to Research and Development, including through historic funding for the National Science Foundation, NASA, NIST, the Department of Energy (DOE), NOAA, and other relevant agencies. In past appropriations processes, Congressman Neguse has been successful in securing increased funds for NIST, NOAA, the National Science Foundation and is leading legislation to modernize our federal labs;
Increases the Supply of Affordable Housing, by providing a $500 million increase to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, for a total of $1.9 billion, to construct and rehabilitate affordable rental housing and to support other housing-related needs;
Makes Significant Investments to End Homelessness, by providing $3.5 billion, an increase of $500 million over the 2021 enacted level, for Homeless Assistance Grants, something Congressman Neguse has advocated for throughout the pandemic;
Expands Broadband Access, proposing an increase of $65 million over the 2021 enacted level for Reconnect, the Rural e-Connectivity Program which provides a down payment for grants and loans to deploy broadband to unserved areas, prioritizing tribal lands;
Supports a Strong Nutrition Safety Net, proposing $6.7 billion, more than $1 billion above the 2021 enacted level, for critical nutrition programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), to help vulnerable families put healthy food on the table and address racial disparities in maternal and child health outcomes. Congressman Neguse and Senator Bennet led a successful effort to increase SNAP by 15% in past COVID-19 relief packages.
Increases Support for Children with Disabilities, providing $15.5 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants that support special education and related services for students with disabilities in grades PreK through 12. Congressman Neguse has previously advocated for increased IDEA funds and is leading legislation to fund the program at the full 40%;
Supports Early Learning, providing $11.9 billion for Head Start, Congressman Neguse's Jumpstart for Head Start Act advocated for increased support for the program amidst the pandemic; and
Combats the Gun Violence Public Health Epidemic, through $2.1 billion, an increase of $232 million above the 2021 enacted level, for DOJ to address the gun violence public health crisis plaguing communities across the Nation.
Congressman Neguse's proposal to establish a reimagined 21st Century Civilian Climate Corps was recently cited in the President's American Jobs Plan. Today's budget request furthers support for the Neguse proposal, citing the civilian climate corps and providing funds specifically for wildfire resiliency efforts, as requested by Congressman Joe Neguse. For several years, Congressman Neguse has led an initiative to increase funding for the zero emission vehicles program, funding that several cities and counties in the 2nd Congressional District benefit from. In the wake of devastating wildfires and flooding, he's introduced multiple bills to invest in disaster planning, recovery and climate disaster mitigation, including the Climate Resilient Communities Act and Wildfire Recovery Act. In past appropriations processes, Congressman Neguse has been successful in securing increased funds for NIST, NOAA, the National Science Foundation and is leading legislation to modernize our federal labs.