Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer aim to require Biden to declare climate emergency 

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer aim to require Biden to declare climate emergency 
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAngst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure MORE (I-Vt.) and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHouse adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (D-N.Y.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerLawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection On The Money: Schumer pressured from all sides on spending strategy | GOP hammers HUD chief over sluggish rental aid | Democrat proposes taxes on commercial space flights Hillicon Valley: Biden to appoint Big Tech critic to DOJ antitrust role | House passes host of bills to strengthen cybersecurity in wake of attacks | Bezos returns from flight to space MORE (D-Ore.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would require the president to declare a national emergency on climate change.

Declaring a national emergency would give President Biden more power to combat climate change, including the ability to direct extra funding to the issue. 

The long-shot resolution follows a statement from Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy MORE (D-N.Y.) suggesting that Biden could declare a climate emergency to be able to take additional actions using emergency powers. 

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However, it would face an uphill battle to cross the 60-vote threshold to become filibuster-proof and could also face opposition from moderate Democrats. 

The legislation cites both warming temperatures and a statement from the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which calls for “far-reaching, multilevel and cross-sectoral climate mitigation” to prevent climate risks. 

It says that in response to the national emergency, Biden should invest in major resiliency projects that will help prepare the country’s infrastructure for climate change’s impacts and make investments in clean energy that are socially and racially just. 

“We are out of time and excuses. Our country is in crisis and, to address it, we will have to mobilize our social and economic resources on a massive scale,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. 

“If we want to ensure that our nation has an equitable economic recovery and prevent yet another life-altering crisis - then we have to start by calling this moment what it is, a national emergency," she added. 

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Republicans, meanwhile, have pushed back against the idea of a presidentially declared climate emergency. 

Following Schumer’s suggestion, Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoFormer Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi dies after bicycle accident Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote MORE (R-Wyo.) said in a statement that the Democrat was “trying to muzzle Congress."

“Schumer wants the president to go it alone and produce more punishing regulations, raise energy costs, and kill even more American jobs,” he added. 

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Blumenauer have previously pushed for the formal recognition of a climate emergency. 

In 2019, they introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of Congress that there is a climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences and causes.”