Since President Joe Biden took office, he and some congressional Democrats have pushed strongly for the creation of a New Deal-style initiative: the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC).
On Friday, congressional Democrats unveiled text from the more than 2,000-page reconciliation bill. Among its many appropriations, the new CCC will receive a substantial appropriation.
President, Progressives Have Long Fought for the Program
The broad strokes of the program were introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) when he unveiled his $3.5 trillion budget on the Senate floor in early 2021.
The CCC, Sanders said, would give young people the opportunity “to get decent pay and to roll up their sleeves … in order to combat climate change.” For Sanders, this program was only a part of a wide-ranging slew of policies “to combat climate change.” Since then, others have joined with Sanders in supporting the initiative.
Most significantly, the proposal got a green light from the White House. At his April address to congress, the commander-in-chief tied “meeting the climate crisis” to the creation of new jobs.
“For me, when I think climate change I think jobs,” the president explained.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also put his weight behind the proposal, promising during a press conference to “fight to get the boldest CCC possible.”
Schumer was joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who drafted the controversial Green New Deal. The congresswoman took to the stage to defend the CCC.
“What if [the CCC] led to tens of thousands of new trails in our national forests and park service?” she asked rhetorically. Ocasio-Cortez continued, “This isn’t something we have to imagine doing—that was the record of the original [New Deal-created] Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938.”