Congress has passed a budget - 2 of them in fact. But they still can't agree on how to balance the nation's checkbook, so the stay of budgetary-execution is only temporary.
With economic disaster only weeks away -- for the third month in a row -- the Senate still won't even consider ending the $10 billion in subsidies we give to the oil industry. More than 100,000 people have taken action online to ask Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders to make this a priority. But just because Harry Reid isn't listening, doesn't mean we're not being heard.
Environmental champions in the House have introduced a budget that not only ends oil subsidies, it taxes global warming pollution for the first time in American history. And leaders in the Senate like Sheldon Whitehouse have offered ammendments to end all fossil fuel subsidies, and make polluters pay to clean up their damage to the planet.
Almost 100 members of the House, and over half of the Senate have voted to end oil subsidies, and President Obama has been calling for action too. But Big Oil's money is still buying them just enough support to keep our tax dollars lining their pockets even as they destroy the planet. So we can't afford to slow down now.
Click here to listen to a recording of our live-chat with Drew Hudson and members of Environmental Action about the latest news on oil subsidies (or call (712) 432-1085 and enter code: 279223#).
As you'll hear on the call, Rep. Grijalva was not able to join us, but he asked us to pass along this message:
I’m very sorry I couldn’t be with you last night and that you didn’t get the notice you should have. The opportunity to share what the Congressional Progressive Caucus is doing to protect our environment means a lot to me, and I’d like to take a moment to give you the information I wanted to provide on the phone.
Our budget prices carbon pollution with a rebate to hold low income households harmless, and it eliminates corporate tax subsidies for oil, gas, and coal companies. It’s that simple. Economic and environmental experts around the world say these subsidies should be ended and the external costs of pollution should be accounted for. The Back to Work Budget is the only plan that makes these things happen. The House Republican majority voted it down, as we knew they would, but we’ve built a bigger constituency than ever for these ideas in Congress: the 84 votes our plan received on the floor is the most any CPC budget has ever attracted. A few years ago, words like “carbon tax” were supposed to be a political death sentence. Now all the momentum is in the right direction. We don’t view our budget as a bill that didn’t pass – we view it as a document that continues to speak to what the American people are demanding.
The process isn’t over. The Paul Ryan scheme passed by the House last week isn’t going anywhere, and the Democratic Senate plan will see major changes before it becomes law (if we pass a budget resolution at all this year). We’ll have opportunities to offer pieces of our budget as standalone bills down the road. The continued public support for our full document will be a stick to push Washington toward a more sensible and popular environmental policy. We’re going to keep fighting.
I sincerely hope you give our budget a good look. I think you’ll like what you see, and I think you’ll share my enthusiasm for the opportunities we have over the next several months to raise public awareness and make progress in Washington at the same time.