You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Get Local On Climate Change.
In a move that will shock no one listening to this podcast, the federal government is in the process of proving that gridlock and living on a razor’s edge remain the preferred state of affairs in Washington. The Senate gave itself two extra days to pass the emergency spending bill the House has sent them and that is fully expected to happen before the extended end of the legislative session. (Likely it will have passed by the time this episode finds its way to your ears.)
The bill is a nightmare.
As the website for the anti-money-in-politics organization “The Bulletin” puts it:
"If you’re a Congressperson looking to sneak through something shady, the omnibus budget bill is the perfect opportunity since 1.) It’s 1600 pages long and very easy to hide things in, and 2.) Congress kind of has to pass it or the government shuts down. Again.”
Not that we didn’t already know the next two years would — at best — be a wash, but the new Congress isn’t even on duty yet. This is still the group from BEFORE the Republican midterm sweep. Shunning the chance to limit the damage, the bipartisan emergency spending bill — not to be confused with an actual budget, of course — does several awful things. Basically, the only ridiculous thing it DOESN’T do is shut down the government. That possibility is set up for September when the bill runs its course.
While there WAS room in the spending bill to allocate $479 million for a warplane that the pentagon didn’t ask for, there wasn't room for $93 million of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program or to fund environmental protections. That pairing makes sense, though, because what goes better with poor nutrition than poor air quality — Am I right?
If you’re frustrated, there’s good news. You have a governor and state elected officials who actually have to do things like pass budgets and enforce federal regulations from agencies like the EPA. The National Resources Defense Council have an easy fill-in-the-boxes way to let your governor know that despite the federal government’s insistence on gridlock, you’d like them to get on board with the new limits to carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Local officials have power — typically more power to actually do real things that affect real people than federal officials. Nothing should reinforce that like days worth of Speaker Boehner’s face on cable news above the headline “Possible Government Shutdown Ahead.”
So, visit NRDC.org and go to their “Act Now” tab to click through and support the campaign. This will take you less than 60 seconds. Governors are typically more busy balancing budgets than contributing sound bites to Sunday morning shows, so we can forget that they are executive office holders who draft and approve budgets for everything from road repair to education to energy. Give your governor their due and tell them clean air matters to the people of your state.
"Congress narrowly averts government shutdown” via CNN.com
"What’s in That Huge, Lobbyist-Driven Spending Bill?” by Joshua Holland at BillMoyers.com
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #883 Put your money where our future is
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich