“Right now, we Hill staffers are peacefully protesting Dem leaders INSIDE. To my knowledge, this has never been done. We’ve also never seen climate catastrophe, so we’re meeting the moment. Follow along as we fight with everything we have to jumpstart climate negotiations,” one Democratic staffer for Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted.
Right now, we Hill staffers are peacefully protesting Dem leaders INSIDE. To my knowledge, this has never been done.
We’ve also never seen climate catastrophe, so we’re meeting the moment. Follow along as we fight with everything we have to jumpstart climate negotiations. pic.twitter.com/PwuWVFQoED
— Saul (@saaaauuull) July 25, 2022
The effort comes shortly after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) threw cold water on liberals’ hopes of using budget reconciliation to make substantial reforms to climate policy. Under that approach, only a Senate majority of 51 votes, rather than the 60 needed usually to overcome a filibuster of legislation, would be necessary to send a climate proposal to President Joe Biden for his signature. Manchin, a centrist West Virginia Democrat, raised concerns about how additional spending would affect inflation.
The group moved forward with the peaceful protest after sending two letters to Schumer and Biden in recent weeks, calling for swift action and for the administration to “declare a climate emergency and end fossil fuel extraction on federal lands.”
“We, staffers of the US Congress, are peacefully sitting in on Sen. Schumer’s office to demand Dems pass climate justice policy this year. We are putting our bodies on the line because we have no other choice. We see the impacts of the climate crisis in our home communities and the constituencies we serve and we refuse to be complicit in the enormous suffering and devastation around the world that will result from not passing climate justice policy this year,” the staffers said in a statement.
“The Black, Indigenous, and communities of the global majority who voted Biden and Schumer into office are also those most affected by the climate crisis. They will suffer the most from this inaction.”
The group went on to take aim at Manchin for his decision to block the language from being included in a sweeping party-line bill, alleging that inaction could lead to substantial long-term consequences for the environment.
“Our country is nearing the end of a two-year window that represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass transformative climate policy, we will not remain silent while we watch environmental catastrophe unfold before our eyes,” they said.
Schumer’s office did not respond to a request for comment.