Shortly after announcing his campaign for reelection, Sen. Alex Padilla shifts to reintroduce the Green New Deal to Congress.
By Matthew Royer, Staff Writer
As California braces for fire season, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) set his sights on overarching climate legislation.
On April 20, overlooking the Washington Monument, the San Fernando Valley native joined Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to announce their reintroduction of the Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal, previously Markey and Ocasio-Cortez’s signature legislation, focuses on defeating climate change and building a “prosperous and sustainable future” for the United States with millions of good-paying union jobs, according to the congresswoman’s website.
“It’s time for another New Deal with the American people,” said Padilla. “One that tackles the climate crisis head-on and creates good-paying jobs in the process, including a Civilian Climate Corps to rebuild America’s economy. One that ensures that communities of color, that have so often been overlooked or left out, are included both in our policy and in our economic recovery.”
Padilla, who grew up in Pacoima, California, also pointed out what the upcoming fire season could mean for Californians. The senator warned of a “renewed drought” that will damage California’s water supply for years to come, restating the message that the federal government must take action before it becomes too late.
When the Green New Deal was last introduced to Congress in 2019, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in his role as majority leader, forced a vote without debate leading to the bill’s defeat of 0 to 57. However, a majority of Democrats at the time boycotted the decision, voting present instead of the traditional “yea” or “nay,” according to Reuters.
With a new presidential administration and control of both chambers of Congress, the trio are hopeful that this time ground can be made on the resounding defeat of previous years.
Padilla in particular, credited the youth across the country and Californians in pushing for the legislation to be introduced once again.
“I want to take a moment to thank the bold leadership of the many young climate activists here today and across the country for their fight to put these issues front and center, not just here in Congress, but in State Capitols around the country,” said Padilla. “Thank you for organizing, thank you for mobilizing, thank you for insisting that we face this great challenge and take advantage of this historic opportunity with the urgency that our climate crisis demands.”
Padilla has a little over 100 days in the U.S. Senate and faces reelection in 2022. According to Ballotpedia — the encyclopedia of American politics — the senator is currently not facing any significant competition from either of the two major parties. The website also lists the election as a “Safe-Democratic” projection.