Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says President Biden should declare a state of emergency to defeat the global climate change threat.
On Jan. 31st, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hosted a press conference in the lobby of 875 Third Avenue to discuss the latest array of executive orders President Joe Biden has signed, including rejoining the Paris accords, as well as this week’s agenda in the Senate.
“President Biden announced some executive actions on climate; critical measures that will increase the conservation of federal lands, reduce oil and gas development, and place environmental justice and clean jobs at the center of our nation’s climate policy and guess what came back to Washington? Science! Science welcome! Your back and you will help guide us on how we deal with the issues of global warming and climate change,” Schumer said.
Schumer believes that in order for climate change to be successfully resolved in a swift manner, President Biden should declare a state of emergency. He alluded to Donald Trump’s use of emergency powers to build a border, and the way in which the courts ruled in his favor. While Schumer stated that Trump’s use to build a wall was “stupid,” he says this situation shows how much power the federal government has to make a difference.
The climate issue is an existential crisis, Schumer explained, and with executive powers this will allow President Biden access to federal funds to make a real-time difference.
“President Biden should consider declaring a national emergency on climate change. This will give him more tools to deal with this emergency issue. It is really important—unfortunately there are too many in Congress who don’t recognize the gravity of the situation. Emergency powers would allow the president to move forward on his own and do all kinds of things that he could not do now,” Schumer said.
Marcela Mulholland, the political director for Data for Progress—a think tank that aims to empower the progressive movement with insights on public opinion and policies perspectives—joined Schumer at the conference to stress the importance of combating climate change.
“We are living in a climate emergency and we need to leverage all of the powers of the federal government to tackle this crisis. There really is no time to waste. We need an all out government-wide mobilization to stop climate change. We need to use the powers vested in Congress and the Executive to grow clean energy to create good jobs and to ensure that everyone is afforded the dignity of breathing clean air and drinking clean water. These are human rights that everyone deserves. Across the country and right here in New York we are on the precipice of a historic breakthrough, but as we look to create jobs, as we look to create opportunities and prosperity, and the clean energy economy of the future, we need to make sure that no one is left behind. Not the workers who built the fossil fuel economy and not the poor communities and communities of color that were polluted and left behind by it,” Mulholland said.
Schumer culminated the meeting by also weighing in on an investigation into the GameStop stock surge, which he believes showcases inequity.
“We need the playing field not to be tilted against average folks. We must ensure their interests are much better protected as we move forward and that’s why we need a thorough investigation,” Schumer said.
The induction of two of President Biden’s cabinet members, the continuation of Trump’s impeachment trial (which is still set for Feb. 8th) and push for a bold COVID relief plan is on the Senate’s agenda for the upcoming week as well.