#SenateFail: Fossil Fuels got bailed out, we got sold out

We call it a #SenateFail: It’s been more than a month since the House passed a $3 trillion COVID relief package called the HEROES act. But the Senate has failed to so much as hold a hearing – and chose instead to go on a 2-week, 4th of July vacation.

Since they took off for summer break, new cases of the virus are spiking all over the country, with more than 3 million US cases diagnosed so far. And thanks to demands from House oversight panels, we learned this week that fossil fuel corporations got their dirty hands on at least $3 billion of taxpayer money intended to help keep workers afloat.

Please join us TODAY to make sure senators feel massive pressure to get it right when they come back in session on July 20 by taking up the HEROES act and making sure bailouts help people and essential workers, not polluters:

  1. Call your senator by dialing toll-free 1-833-868-8109;
  2. Send an email to your Representative and Senators asking them to take action!
  3. Tweet at your Senators using these free tools from Greenpeace.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell decided it was time for a break while Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing, and without taking action to address systemic racism and Police brutality, protect essential workers, help struggling families or fund public schools. At a moment when senators should be doing their jobs, it’s a colossal #SenateFail.

When senators go back to DC, they will have less than two weeks to extend unemployment insurance, provide financial relief to struggling families, support essential services, including public schools, COVID testing and contact tracing, and ensure that every vote is counted in the November election. 

Taking up the HEROES act, and improving it, is a great place to start. There’s already some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support. And by adding in protections like the REWIND act to stop further fossil fuel bailouts, they can make it stronger!

While they are on vacation, Congress need to hear loud and clear that we expect them to get back to DC and do their jobs. Can you join us and take action today?

Stop Trump’s next Dirty Deal

Earlier this month, we warned you that Trump and team were bailing out fossil fuel companies with money stolen from Congressionally-appropriated funds to help families, workers and small businesses survive COVID-19. And we’ve been fighting ever since to make sure Congress’ next COVID-19 bailout bill protects people, not polluters.

On May 15, the House passed another the $3 trillion relief package, called the HEROES act. There’s some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support.

But in their haste to protect essential workers, House Leadership left out all the stuff that would have stopped Trump from stealing the money, again, and using it to Bailout fossil fuels– including the ReWIND act.

Congress is on a recess for Memorial Day, but when they come back, negotiation over this bill is expected to be their first priority. Will you email your Representative now and tell them to get it right this time – and make sure Congressional bailouts help people and essential workers, not polluters?

The ReWIND Act would prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds from being diverted to fossil fuel companies, making more money available for essential workers and communities. And it’s not as if House leadership doesn’t know about the problem: numerous reports have documented that Trump and his dirty associates are already diverting billions of taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies.

With more than 40 House and Senate cosponsors already, it’s a popular idea with a real chance of being included in the next Congressional relief bill. But Senator McConnell and the Republican-led Senate have indicated they will not consider the HEROES Act, ReWIND, or any form of additional COVID response bill, saying they have “not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately”.  And then he adjourned the entire Senate for two weeks so they could go home and have a vacation.  

We have a lot more work to do. Can you email your Member of Congress and tell them:

  1. Get back to work NOW – take up the HEROEs act negotiation with the Senate ;
  2. Fight to pass, and keep key provisions of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights in the next COVID response bill;, And
  3. Cosponsor the ReWIND Act to stop another fossil fuel industry bailout at the expense of public health crisis and frontline workers, and add it to HEROES during negotiation!

header image by  Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Tell the Senate to get serious about Essential Workers

Essential workers are on the frontlines of this pandemic, and many are working in high-risk conditions without appropriate equipment, safety standards, or job protections. But Mitch McConnell and his Republican Senate say they have “not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. And to prove the point, they just went home for a two-week vacation.

Essential workers are home care workers, grocery and drug store employees, domestic workers, food service workers, government employees, janitorial staff, farm workers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, transit workers, and child care workers. Anyone who has to remain on the job without the ability to telework during this emergency.

These workers put their health on the line when they go to work every day, often without adequate worker protections and benefits. But instead of helping Essential workers, Donald Trump and Senator McConnell have conspired to give hundreds of millions of dollars (and counting) to the fossil fuel companies profiting off climate change. That’s money stolen from Congressionally-approved funds designated to help families, workers and small businesses survive COVID-19.

If you agree that essential workers deserve labor and health care protections, pick up the phone and call your Senators right now at 1-833-933-0204. Tell them to get back to work by taking up the House-passed HEROES act, improving it by keeping the Essential Workers Protections, and adding in key pieces of the ReWIND act as well.

Here’s what’s been happening: Last week, the House passed another the $3 trillion relief package, called the HEROES act. There’s some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights included in the HEROES act would provide $200 billion for hazard pay, paid sick and family leave, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers, and improved collective bargaining. HEROES is also also inclusive of immigrants, which is something that got left out of the initial Congressional response, and broadens the definition of ‘essential’ workers to include people who work in sanitation, grocery stores or as domestic aides.

But in their haste to pass HEROES, House Leadership left out a bunch of other good ideas we support from the bill, – including the ReWIND act that we emailed you about last week. Remember, the ReWIND Act would prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds from being diverted to fossil fuel companies, making more money available for essential workers and communities. And it’s not as if House leadership doesn’t know about the problem:  numerous reports in the last week have documented that Trump and his dirty associates are already diverting billions of taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies.

Most frustrating is that Senator McConnell and the Republican-led Senate have indicated they will not consider the HEROES Act, or any form of additional COVID response bill, anytime soon. And then he adjourned the entire Senate for two weeks so they could go home and have a vacation.  We have a lot more work to do.

HEROES has passed the House, so the first step is to get the Senate back to work, and back at the negotiating table. Some Republicans are beginning to realize they can’t just deny, lie, and dismiss the pandemic like Trump does. So if we we can get them back, and get them talking, we have room to negotiate. And right now the items we want on the table are HEROEs, the Essential Workers Bill of Rights, and ReWIND.

Call your Senators now at 833-933-0204 and tell them to get back to work by taking up the House-passed HEROES act, fight to keep the Essential Workers Protections, and improve it by adding in key pieces of the ReWIND act.

No Dirty Deals, pass the ReWIND Act instead!

Congress is already negotiating on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, and Trump and his allies are pushing hard for another big bailout for fossil fuels. Alarmingly, some elected leaders are considering a dirty deal where they’d trade another fossil fuel bailout  for good-but-inadequate tools like tax credits for renewable energy and electric cars. 

Fortunately, not everyone is tempted by this devils bargain:  Dozens of Democrats in the House and Senate have signed on to support a new bill called the ReWIND act that would ban fossil fuel bailouts, and give us more control over the +$2 trillion Congress has already appropriated.  

So far, we’ve got more than 30 members of Congress on our side, but we need more than 200 to stop the dirty deal and pass the ReWIND act as part of the next Congressional stimulus bill. Can you write to your member of Congress now?

Now is the time to speak out: Amid a historic shock to energy and fossil fuel marketsthe corrupt Trump Administration and their allies are scrambling for any way to use our tax dollars to prop up the fossil fuel industry. They’ve already tried offering special loans to fossil fuel companies, stopping enforcement of key environmental laws, waiving payments and taxes the oil and gas companies are supposed to pay, and more. Last week the Federal Reserve relaxed allowed more risky and un-profitable fossil fuel companies to get federal bailout dollars, and Republicans in Congress promptly demanded the fossil banks give them a loan.

Trump and his cronies can only get away with all this because Democrats in Congress failed to negotiate tough oversight and restrictions in their last relief bill, called the CARES act. A new bill called the ReWIND Act seeks to fix that and stop future fossil fuel bailouts. The ReWIND Act would block the Trump Administration from using COVID-19 stimulus funds to bail out big polluters, stop many of the schemes Trump has taken or may attempt to benefit the fossil fuel industry, and ensure that the public has a say to protect our health and wellbeing.

With nearly 40 cosponsors already, it’s a popular idea with a real chance of being included in the next Congressional relief bill. But some Corporate Democrats would rather negotiate a dirty deal than stand up to Trump and his corrupt cronies. An internal Morgan Stanley report leaked to the media showed that big banks are working with the fossil fuel industry to trade a fossil fuel bailout for renewable energy tax credits

We can’t let that happen. We need to tell Congress NOW that there’s no time for a dirty deal as part of the next stimulus package​, and that passing the ReWIND Act would stop another fossil fuel industry bailout at the expense of public health crisis and frontline workers. Click here to tell your member of Congress: No Dirty Deals, cosponsor the ReWIND Act and push for its inclusion in the next stimulus bill!