Biden Makes Another Lawless Attempt To Circumvent Congress

Despite Congress Explicitly Rejecting Proposals To Create A Make-Work New Deal Retread Civilian Climate Corps, President Biden Is Yet Again Ignoring The Rule Of Law In An Attempt To Appease Radical Progressive Activists, A Pattern That Has Led To Repeated Rebukes From The Supreme Court

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The Biden Administration announced yesterday that it is seeking new recruits in its war on affordable and reliable American energy – to fill the ranks of a new program called the American Climate Corps. While the Administration works overtime to freeze sensible development like energy pipelines, its latest initiative would essentially set up a taxpayer-funded pipeline for turning climate activists into climate bureaucrats.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/21/2023)

  • “Now, President Biden’s nostalgia for FDR’s New Deal is well documented. So, setting aside the absurdity of Washington Democrats’ fixation with the Green New Deal, it would be hard to imagine an economic moment less well suited to a new Depression-era work program…. For two years now, we’ve seen historic inflation and a record labor shortage. [T]his is such a profoundly tone-deaf idea, it couldn’t even earn the support of the President’s own party here in the Senate! During votes on Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act last year, not a single one of our colleagues joined Senator Sanders in voting for his amendment to create a climate work project on the taxpayer’s dime.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/21/2023)
  • “There’s no Hoover Dam or Lincoln Tunnel on the other side of this nonsense spending. Just Potemkin jobs and a new make-work program when there’s plenty of work to go around. Activists are calling it ‘climate justice’. But it doesn’t sound like justice to the working families just trying to get by on President Biden’s watch.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/21/2023)

President Biden Is Once Again Invoking Nebulous And Unconstrained ‘Executive Authority’ To Create A Program That Has Not Been Authorized By Congress

“After being thwarted by Congress, President Joe Biden will use his executive authority to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps that will serve as a major green jobs training program…. The climate corps had been proposed in early versions of the sweeping climate law approved last year but was jettisoned amid strong opposition from Republicans and concerns about cost.” (“Biden Is Using Executive Power To Create A New Deal-Style American Climate Corps,” The Associated Press, 9/20/2023)

“President Biden was himself a vocal proponent of a corps on the campaign trail in 2020 and in the first years of his administration. Language establishing such a program was included in early drafts of the Build Back Better Act, the Democratic-majority Congress’s first attempt at a climate and infrastructure bill that was later withdrawn.” (“Biden Administration To Create Climate Corps Program, A Major Progressive Ask,” The Hill, 9/20/2023)

The White House Can’t Even Explain Where The Money For The Program Will Come From

“Democrats had proposed $30 billion in new funding for the Civilian Climate Corps that was included in the early version of the Inflation Reduction Act. In contrast, the new initiative will rely on existing funding sources, although administration officials declined to say how much money the program will receive or where these dollars will come from.” (The Washington Post, 9/20/2023)

“The White House declined to say how much the program will cost or how it will be paid for …” (“Biden Is Using Executive Power To Create A New Deal-Style American Climate Corps,” The Associated Press, 9/20/2023)

The White House didn’t provide specifics about how the program will be structured or funded.” (“Biden Launches American Climate Corps,” E&E News, 9/20/2023)

The administration would not say how much would be spent on the program, only that it would be a collaborative effort among the Labor, Interior, Agriculture and Energy Departments, AmeriCorps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and would draw on existing funding at each agency.” (The New York Times, 9/20/2023)

In Fact, Congress Has Explicitly REJECTED Proposals To Create A Civilian Climate Corps

Funding To Create The Corps Was Removed From Democrats’ Taxing And Spending Spree Last Year

“Congressional Democrats provided up to $30 billion in funding for a Civilian Climate Corps in an early version of their sweeping climate and social spending package, formerly known as the Build Back Better Act. But the program was dropped from the final version of the climate package, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, during private negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.).” (The Climate 202, The Washington Post, 9/08/2022)

The Senate Voted Down A Bernie Sanders Proposal To Create The Corps By 98-1

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) then introduced an amendment to the package to reinstate the Civilian Climate Corps. But Democrats united in opposition to the amendment, saying it was important to keep the bill intact.” (The Climate 202, The Washington Post, 9/08/2022)

Yet Again, Biden Was Encouraged To Take Unilateral Action After Lobbying By Far-Left Democrats And Climate Activists

“The initiative resembles a proposal that was included in an early version of Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act. The Civilian Climate Corps was ultimately dropped from the final version of the legislation during private negotiations last summer between Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.).(“Biden’s New Climate Corps Will Train Thousands Of Young People,” The Washington Post, 9/20/2023)

“Democrats and environmental advocacy groups never gave up on the plan and pushed Biden in recent weeks to issue an executive order authorizing what the White House now calls the American Climate Corps.” (“Biden Uses Executive Power To Create A New Deal-Style American Climate Corps,” The Associated Press, 9/20/2023)

A Climate Corps Has Been A Key Demand From The Same Radical Groups That Pushed The Green New Deal

“The idea of a climate corps began with progressive environmental activist groups, including the youth-led Sunrise Movement.” (“Biden Is Unveiling The American Climate Corps, A Program With Echoes Of The New Deal,” NPR, 9/20/2023)

  • “The corps was an idea first introduced as part of ‘unity’ campaign task forces between Biden’s 2020 campaign and representatives of former Democratic presidential contender and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – task forces that had a big hand in crafting policy Biden ultimately implemented as president. Sunrise co-founder Varshini Prakash and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, were members of the climate task force, as well as Biden’s first White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy and current US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. ‘A lot of the impetus and inspiration came from early proposals Sunrise shared on the Bernie/Biden task force,’ Prakash told CNN in an interview Tuesday.” (CNN, 9/20/2023)

“Sunrise is part of a new generation of youth-led climate change movements … They’re the ones who made the Green New Deal a household term.” (Vox, 7/31/2019)

This Is Part Of A Pattern Of Lawlessness By The Biden White House

Biden ‘Bent To Intense Pressure From Liberal House Democrats’ To Have The CDC Issue An Illegal Eviction Moratorium

“Amid pressure from congressional liberals … the Biden administration reversed course Tuesday and moved to effectively extend a pandemic-era eviction moratorium. Just the day before, a top administration official had said they had looked hard and hadn’t found a legal avenue to do such a thing.” (“Biden’s Novel Evictions Defense: Maybe It’s Illegal, But It’s Worth It,” The Washington Post, 8/04/2021)

“The Biden administration announced a temporary ban on evictions across most of the country on Tuesday, a move that bent to intense pressure from liberal House Democrats but that President Biden acknowledged may not prove constitutional. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on evictions for 60 days for U.S. counties with ‘substantial and high levels of community transmission’ of the coronavirus, according to an agency news release. About 90 percent of the country will be covered by the ban as the virus’s delta variant spreads quickly throughout the country, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. The 19-page order lists criminal penalties including fines and jail time if someone is found to have violated the eviction moratorium. The Biden administration had previously said it had no legal authority to extend a separate national eviction moratorium that lapsed over the weekend.” (“Biden Administration Moves To Block Evictions In Most Of U.S. Following Liberal Backlash,” The Washington Post, 8/03/2021)

But The Supreme Court Swiftly Ended It, Emphasizing That Congress Had Not ‘Specifically Authorized The Action’ And That ‘It Strains Credulity To Believe That This Statute Grants The CDC The Sweeping Authority That It Asserts’

SUPREME COURT: “It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened. Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.” (Alabama Ass’n of Realtors v. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., 594 U.S. ----, 141 S. Ct. 2485, 2486 (2021))

  • “Congress was on notice that a further extension would almost surely require new legislation, yet it failed to act in the several weeks leading up to the moratorium’s expiration…. our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends…. It is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here. If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.” (Alabama Ass’n of Realtors v. Dep’t of Health and Human Servs., 594 U.S. ----, 141 S. Ct. 2485, 2490 (2021))

Similarly, Biden Announced A Lawless Student Debt Forgiveness Program After Intense Lobbying From Left-Wing Democrat Senators

“Sitting alone with the president in his private cabin, the Senate’s top Democrat [Sen. Chuck Schumer] spent much of the 58-minute flight back to Washington urging Mr. Biden to wipe away hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt owed to the federal government.” (“Biden Gave In to Pressure on Student Debt Relief After Months of Doubt,” The New York Times, 8/26/2022)

  • “At the White House in May [2022], Mr. Schumer and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Raphael Warnock, Democrat of Georgia, presented data to Mr. Biden showing that debt cancellation would benefit borrowers who failed to obtain a degree, according to a person familiar with the meeting. The three senators had been among the most enthusiastic backers of student debt cancellation. Ms. Warren had made it a central plank in her presidential bid. Mr. Warnock and Mr. Schumer both favored going bigger than the $10,000 in relief Mr. Biden promised during the campaign.” (“Biden Gave In to Pressure on Student Debt Relief After Months of Doubt,” The New York Times, 8/26/2022)

“[In August 2022], Mr. Biden agreed, announcing that he would wipe out significant amounts of student debt for tens of millions of Americans. With less than three months until midterm elections that will determine who controls Congress, Mr. Biden bowed to months of lobbying …” (“Biden Gave In to Pressure on Student Debt Relief After Months of Doubt,” The New York Times, 8/26/2022)

And Again, The Supreme Court Rebuked The Biden Administration, Ruling That Such A Move Was ‘The Executive Seizing The Power Of The Legislature,’ In An Attempt To Create A Program ‘That Congress Has Chosen Not To Enact Itself’

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: “The Secretary [of Education] asserts that the HEROES Act grants him the authority to cancel $430 billion of student loan principal. It does not. We hold today that the Act allows the Secretary to ‘waive or modify’ existing statutory or regulatory provisions applicable to financial assistance programs under the Education Act, not to rewrite that statute from the ground up.” (Biden v. Nebraska, 600 U.S. ----, 143 S. Ct. 2355, 2366 (2023))

  • “Congress opted to make debt forgiveness available only in a few particular exigent circumstances; the power to modify does not permit the Secretary to ‘convert that approach into its opposite’ by creating a new program affecting 43 million Americans and $430 billion in federal debt.” (Biden v. Nebraska, 600 U.S. ----, 143 S. Ct. 2355, 2369 (2023))
  • “[T]his is a case about one branch of government arrogating to itself power belonging to another…. [I]t is the Executive seizing the power of the Legislature. The Secretary’s assertion of administrative authority has ‘conveniently enabled [him] to enact a program’ that Congress has chosen not to enact itself…. ‘A decision of such magnitude and consequence’ on a matter of ‘earnest and profound debate across the country’ must ‘res[t] with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.’” (Biden v. Nebraska, 600 U.S. ----, 143 S. Ct. 2355, 2373 (2023))

Biden Embraced These Lawless Actions, Explaining That Even If The Courts Struck Them Down, ‘By The Time It Gets Litigated’ His Administration Will Have Had ‘Some Additional Time’ To Implement Illegal Programs

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “Any call for a moratorium based on the Supreme Court recent decision is likely to face obstacles…. [T]he courts made it clear that the existing moratorium was not constitutional; it wouldn’t stand. … One, I’ve sought out constitutional scholars to determine what is the best possibility that would come from executive action, or the CDC’s judgment, what could they do that was most likely to pass muster, constitutionally. The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says that it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster. Number one. But there are several key scholars who think that it may and it’s worth the effort. But the present — you could not — the Court has already ruled on the present eviction moratorium.” (President Biden, Press Conference, 8/03/2021)

  • PRESIDENT BIDEN: “The CDC has to make the — I asked the CDC to go back and consider other options that may be available to them. You’re going to hear from them what those other options are. I have been informed they’re about to make a judgment as to potential other options. Whether that option will pass constitutional measure with this administration, I can’t tell you. I don’t know. There are a few scholars who say it will and others who say it’s not likely to. But, at a minimum, by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time while we’re getting that $45 billion out to people who are, in fact, behind in the rent and don’t have the money. That’s why it was passed in — in the act that we passed in the beginning of my administration, and it went to the states.” (President Biden, Press Conference, 8/03/2021)

The Climate Corps Is A Way For The White House To Reward Far-Left Activists Ahead Of Biden’s Re-Election Campaign

“The American Climate Corps comes as Biden seeks to win over young voters, a critical constituency, before next year’s presidential election…. ‘I can’t speak on behalf of every single youth voter, but if President Biden continues to take bold climate action like this, I think it could go a long way,’ Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, said in an interview. ‘Young people need to see more policies like this from the administration in the lead-up to the election.’ (The Washington Post, 9/20/2023)

The White House Was ‘Very Keenly Focused On’ Ensuring That ‘This Program Have A Pathway Into Good-Paying Union Jobs’

“The officials, who are closely monitoring the United Auto Workers’ ongoing strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers, emphasized the program would help young people secure high-quality jobs after their training is complete. The administration ‘will specifically be focused on making sure that folks that are coming through this program have a pathway into good-paying union jobs,’ White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi said on a Tuesday call with reporters previewing the announcement. ‘We’re very keenly focused on that.’(“Biden’s New Climate Corps Will Train Thousands Of Young People,” The Washington Post, 9/20/2023)

‘Democrats Envision A Corps That’s Part Green-Jobs Program, Part Behavioral Hectoring Squad, Part Social-Justice Brigade, And Part Union-Recruitment Effort’

BIDEN WHITE HOUSE RELEASE: “The American Climate Corps will focus on equity and environmental justice …” (White House Fact Sheet, 9/20/2023)

  • WHITE HOUSE RELEASE: “Today’s announcement builds on nearly $500 million of Biden-Harris Administration investments to expand pathways into good-paying union jobs …” (White House Fact Sheet, 9/20/2023)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “As the U.S. recovers from a pandemic, with workers in services and manufacturing in short supply across the economy, here’s what no one sensible thinks America urgently needs: a huge new federal Civilian Climate Corps. Yet that’s exactly what Democrats want to create as part of their plan to expand government into every corner of American life. It isn’t enough to lecture Americans about the supposed perils of climate change. Now they also want to tax you and other Americans to pay your children to spend years lecturing you.” (Editorial, “A New National Climate Army,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/26/2021)

  • “Like so many other ideas in this Administration, the idea comes from the Democratic left, specifically the Sunrise Movement and Evergreen Action. Their idea was adopted by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, who have proposed a Climate Corps that employs 1.5 million Americans over five years. The precedent is FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which paid Americans to work when the jobless rate was more than 20% in the Depression.” (Editorial, “A New National Climate Army,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/26/2021)
  • “The White House says the Climate Corps would ‘put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice.’ Democrats envision a Corps that’s part green-jobs program, part behavioral hectoring squad, part social-justice brigade, and part union-recruitment effort.” (Editorial, “A New National Climate Army,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/26/2021)

Even Advocates Admit The Scheme Will Do Little To Nothing About Climate Change: ‘It Just Doesn’t Measurably Reduce Emissions’

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “To be clear, I support a Civilian Climate Corps. It just doesn’t measurably reduce emissions.” (“Dems Fear Chopping Block For EJ, Lead Pipes, Climate Corps,” E&E Daily, 10/06/2021)


Related Issues: Executive Orders, Supreme Court, Green New Deal