(CNSNews.com) - Nancy Pelosi, who will be assuming the speakership of the House in the new Congress that convenes this week, sent a letter on Sunday to her Democratic colleagues in the House reminding them that it is their moral responsibility “to protect God’s creation for our children.”
In seeking this end, Pelosi explained, the Democratic leadership would be creating a new congressional committee on the “climate crisis.”
“Our Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will spearhead our effort to engage the American people on the urgency of the climate crisis on public health, on reducing air pollution, on the economy for America to be preeminent in green technologies, on national security to facing climate-driven conflict and instability, and on our sacred moral responsibility to protect God’s creation for our children,” Pelosi wrote.
Here is the full text of her letter:
Dear Democratic Colleague,
As we prepare for the opening day of the 116th Congress, I am writing about our first legislative vote, which will be the Rules package to organize the House. Now, it will also determine how we will proceed to re-open government.
I thank Rules Committee Chairman McGovern, Senior Members Alcee Hastings and Norma Torres for their months of engagement with Members on the Rules package, and thank all the Members who participated in these discussions. This process was unprecedented and produced a Rules package that enables us to have a Congress that is transparent, bipartisan and unifying.
I am especially pleased that the package establishes a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In my first term as Speaker, the climate crisis was my flagship issue. In 2007, we established the first select committee on climate, chaired by then-Congressman Ed Markey, to promote American energy independence and drive home the urgency of the climate crisis.
Under President Bush, we passed an historic energy bill – advancing renewables and raising emissions standards equivalent to taking millions of cars off the roads. It also established the legal authority that President Obama used to advance bold action to address the climate crisis. Then we passed Waxman-Markey, the most ambitious climate legislation in history. While it passed with Democratic and Republican votes in the House, it was blocked in the Senate.
Our Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will spearhead our effort to engage the American people on the urgency of the climate crisis on public health, on reducing air pollution, on the economy for America to be preeminent in green technologies, on national security to facing climate-driven conflict and instability, and on our sacred moral responsibility to protect God’s creation for our children.
It is my firm belief that the existential threat of the climate crisis demands leadership from the entire Congress, from all of the committees of jurisdiction and highlighted by the select committee.
I am also pleased that the Rules package will create a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, to advance leadership development, to promote diversity and to maximize technology and innovation.
Recognizing that the legislative branch is Article I, the first branch of government, co-equal to and a check and balance on the Executive and the Judiciary, the committees’ charge is to work together in a bipartisan way to strengthen our institution. We are confident that the select committee will help our transformative new Congress, blessed by such a large freshman class, to get results for the American people in a way that honors the vision of our Founders in the Constitution.
Congratulations to you on your election. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a Happy New Year.