The President’s FY 2023 budget proposal, released on April 4, incorporates analyses from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that for the first time in US history take into account the costs of having ignored global warming for so long that it’s become the climate crisis. The OMB found that by the end of the century, the climate crisis could lead to an annual Federal revenue loss of 7.1 percent ($2 trillion in today’s dollars). We’re pleased to see that the President’s FY2023 budget proposal invests $44.9 billion in tackling the climate crisis, an increase of nearly 60 percent over FY 2021. But it’s still less than 10 percent of what has been allocated to national defense ($813 billion)—and far less than what is needed.
The proposal increases spending on several existing climate change initiatives, including more clean energy research, renewed global commitments to addressing the climate crisis, increased environmental spending, more climate resiliency funding, and continued efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions by 52 percent by 2030. We were also glad to see a proposal to repeal fossil fuel tax breaks, which could save $3.4 billion in fiscal 2023 and $43.5 billion over 10 years. Biden floated the idea last year, too, and while it hasn’t gained much bipartisan traction in Congress, it deserves another push.
Congress always rewrites a president’s budget priorities, so in this “evenly divided” Senate, more modest increases, like those seen in fiscal 2022, are seen as the only option for the administration and Democrats if they want to get spending bills enacted. But our role as progressives is to advocate as strongly as possible for what we believe is necessary.
Tell President Biden and our Members of Congress to fight for a bold budget focused on the climate crisis.
Good Bills for a Better Congress: The Judiciary Act of 2021
We’re still celebrating last week’s historic confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. This was made possible by the efforts of activists like you to get out the vote nationwide in 2020 and in Georgia in 2021, winning the Senate majority that confirmed her. Justice Jackson’s exemplary credentials, temperament, and character made her one of the most qualified nominees in recent history, and her joining SCOTUS should be a source of great pride and inspiration for our nation. It is an important step toward the Biden administration’s goal of advancing full representation in the judiciary, and racial justice in America.
Progressive activists understand that every single issue we care about comes down to the courts. When Justice Jackson takes office this summer, the balance of SCOTUS will still be tilted 6-3 in favor of right-wing judicial activists, three of whom were appointed by the disgraced, twice-impeached former president. As Senator Whitehouse pointed out during now-Justice Jackson’s confirmation hearings, Republicans and conservative dark-money groups have aggressively stacked the courts with far-right extremists, all but guaranteeing legal outcomes that have already destroyed voting rights, eroded access to legal abortions, undermined workers’ rights, and more, and will continue to do even worse.
The only way to restore the balance on SCOTUS is to expand it by at least four seats. This is something Congress can simply do through legislation—no constitutional amendment required—and we want to see it done. We believe that winning enough House and Senate seats to finally pass the Judiciary Act of 2021 is crucial to the future of our democracy.
There are so many outstanding bills that will never make it past Republican obstruction in the 50/50 Senate. So instead of asking you to take action on bills like this right now, we’re making a list of bills our next Congress can and should enact, if we can hold our House majority and increase our Senate majority. Find the Judiciary Act of 2021, and others that might inspire your friends and family to vote in the midterm elections, on our new list of Good Bills for a Better Congress.
Ways to help Ukraine
The need in Ukraine isn’t going to end any time soon, so if you’re inclined to help, here’s a list of organizations verified to be legitimate:
- Razom For Ukraine: 501(c)(3) general humanitarian support for Ukraine (Donate)
- Libereco Partnership for Human Rights: reputable European organization with partners in Ukraine, providing general humanitarian support (Donate)
- Ukrainian-American Coordinating Council: 501(c)(3) American coalition that is buying supplies and aid for refugees, civilians, and defenders in Ukraine. (Donate)
- Direct Bank Transfer to the National Bank of Ukraine to support Ukrainian armed forces
- USA for UNHCR: the UN Refugee Agency (Donate)
- Meduza: Independent journalism based in Latvia. Now that there is no free press in Russia, Meduza is one of the few remaining ways to reach ordinary Russians and counter Putin’s propaganda. (Donate)
- Kyiv Independent: Local journalism in Ukraine (Patreon/GoFundMe)
- Doctors Without Borders: Field medical aid (Donate)
- The Voices of Children Foundation: Ukrainian NGO that aids children traumatized by war (Donate)
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens. Our next meeting is on Thursday, April 14. Details on how to register below.
ISF Federal Working Group meeting: Thursday, April 14, 7:30–9 PM.Register here to join our regular Zoom meeting, where we work together to develop strategies for influencing our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to support a progressive agenda. All are welcome to participate and contribute, even if you’ve never attended an ISF meeting before.
Wednesdays and Saturdays: Bay Area Coalition Phone Banks: Our friends at Swing Left need your help talking to voters about the upcoming primaries and midterms. Join Swing Left and the Bay Area Coalition on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings to make calls to voters in California and around the nation. Sign up for a shift:
- Wednesday, April 13, 5–7 PM
- Saturday, April 16, 10 AM–12 PM
- Wednesday, April 20, 5–7 PM
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s image is a photo of Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi calling for climate action after flooding caused by Hurricane Ida in 2021. The photo by Greg Nash illustrated The Hill’s coverage of the post-hurricane press conference by Schumer and New York City officials.
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