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Neguse, Levin and Casten Lead Freshman Letter Urging Prioritization of Climate Issues in FY2020 Appropriations

April 24, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C.— Representatives Joe Neguse (CO-02), Mike Levin (CA-49), and Sean Casten (IL-06) are leading a letter from a majority of the freshman class calling on appropriators in Congress to prioritize funding for climate change research in FY2020. All three were recently appointed to the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

“As you consider the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) Appropriations bills, we urge you to provide robust funding for our nation’s climate change research programs,” reads the opening of the letter from Neguse, Levin and Casten. “We have an opportunity and a moral obligation to act on climate, and this responsibility must be built on the foundation of robust and sustained climate research funding. As the freshman class of the 116th Congress, we urge appropriators to recognize the timely nature of this crisis by robustly funding climate science in FY 2020 and beyond,” the letter goes on to say.

“The Trump Administration’s FY2020 budget has utterly failed to meet the challenge of the climate crisis by cutting or eliminating a variety of world-class climate research programs across the federal government, including eliminating the EPA’s Global Climate Change Research Office and making funding cuts to the National Science Foundation and to the National Oceanic Administration’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research,” said Neguse. “The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time and we owe it to the next generation to address the impacts with urgency and action, that’s why we are urging our colleagues to prioritize funding for the climate science programs that are essential to equipping us to address this great challenge.”

“We must take bold action to combat the climate crisis, and the President’s 2020 budget would only pull us backward with devastating cuts to desperately-needed climate research” said Levin. “We must embrace the science and facts that show climate change is happening now, it is driven by human action, and it is already having a detrimental impact on our planet. I’m proud to lead my colleagues in calling for robust funding for climate science programs, and I will continue to fight for aggressive action that is commensurate with the enormous challenge we face.”

“Combatting the climate crisis is truly an all-encompassing challenge impacting our citizens in all aspects of their daily lives” said Casten. “It is imperative that our nation not run from this challenge, as the President signaled he would do in his 2020 budget, but instead lead the world in facing this crisis head on. We cannot do this if our climate science programs do not have the funding and tools they need to provide critical insights into the impacts of climate change. I am proud to lead my freshman colleagues along with Reps. Neguse and Levin in asking appropriators for robust funding of these programs, and stand ready to call on the administration to do more to reestablish American leadership in the transition to a zero-carbon future.”

Other freshman signers on the letter include Cindy Axne, Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, Gil Cisneros, Jason Crow, Sharice Davids, Madeleine Dean, Antonio Delgado, Veronica Escobar, Deb Haaland, Katie Hill, Chrissy Houlahan, Andy Levin, Elaine Luria, Tom Malinowski, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Harley Rouda, Donna Shalala, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, Abigail Spanberger, Greg Stanton, Haley Stevens, Xochitl Torres Small, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Lauren Underwood, Jeff Van Drew, and Susan Wild.

Specifically, the letter calls for robust funding for climate research done at agencies and departments such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, and the Department of Defence (DOD).

To see a copy of the letter, please contact Sally Tucker at Sally.Tucker@mail.house.gov.