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Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations

Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations
© Greg Nash

Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations MORE (D-Fla.) told colleagues she’d use the power of the House Appropriations Committee to advance legislation on climate if she’s handed the gavel. 

In a letter to fellow lawmakers, Wasserman Schultz called climate change “the defining issue of our time, because it affects virtually every policy area.”

“It is time for the Appropriations Committee, to work together with the committees of jurisdiction to double down on combating climate change. Substantial federal investments are desperately needed to expedite the transition to clean energy and blunt the impacts already afflicting our communities — especially communities of color,” the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman wrote in a four-page climate plan that was included with her note.

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Wasserman Schultz is the underdog in the race to replace House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweySpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight GSA offers to brief Congress next week on presidential transition Biden aide: First Cabinet picks will be announced Tuesday, GSA holdup preventing background checks MORE (D-N.Y.), who is retiring. 

Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations Wasserman Schultz pitches climate plan in race to chair Appropriations DeLauro racks up labor endorsements for Appropriations gavel MORE (D-Conn.), who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, which covers the largest non-defense spending bill, has already secured a number of endorsements from major labor groups. 

Wasserman Schultz’s plan comes as the government will need significant funding to enact President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE’s climate goals. Biden’s $2 trillion plan would funnel funding toward a number of clean energy technologies, electric vehicle infrastructure, a massive retrofitting plan for homes and buildings and expanding public transit.

Several other House committees have also rolled out their own plans for fighting climate change and making investments in green infrastructure.

Waserman Schultz said she would charge every subcommittee with fully funding efforts across the federal government to combat climate change.

She also outlined a number of ideas from existing legislation she would commit to funding, including hiring additional civil rights staff to process environmental justice complaints, a national high speed rail network and incentivizing sustainable farming practices.