build back better
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Congressional Democrats discuss the 'Build Back Better Act' and climate investments during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Environmental and labor leaders on Long Island gathered Tuesday to bring one message to congressional elected officials: vote “yes” on the Build Back Better Act.

Advocates specifically called upon Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Syosset) to vote in favor of the bill, which would fund projects in offshore wind, solar, battery storage, clean transportation, and more, while simultaneously creating union jobs nationwide.

“The Build Back Better Act is a transformational investment of funds for America to fight climate change,” said Adrienne Esposito, director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. 

“The talk about what climate change will bring us from 20 years ago has now become the climate crisis reality of today. We can no longer wait; we must act.”

The bill would invest $555 billion to lower greenhouse gas emission by 50% by 2030. This would add an average of 1.5 million jobs each year for the next 10 years, said Matthew Aracich, Long Island Building and Construction Trades.

“The Build Back Better Act is the answer to fighting climate change while addressing the lingering effects of Covid that have been plaguing our economy,” he said. “It will also invest in communities that all too often have been left behind.”

In addition to addressing climate change, President Joe Biden’s bill offers funds for clean drinking water, housing assistance, small business assistance, cybersecurity programs, universal pre-school, childcare, and more.

The U.S. House of Representatives will have enough votes to pass the bill after the Congressional Budget Office publishes a complete cost estimate for the plan, Democratic House member Dan Kildee told CNN.

The $1.75 trillion proposal aims to expand the social safety net in the United States and boost climate change policy. The CBO anticipates publishing a complete cost estimate by Friday, Nov. 19.

-With Reuters (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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