Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., introduced legislation Friday to block federal funding of the White House's American Climate Corps initiative.

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., introduced legislation Friday to block federal funding of the White House's American Climate Corps initiative. Pool / GETTY IMAGES

Good aims to defund White House’s climate jobs initiative in new bill

The Virginia representative offered new legislation Friday that would prevent the Biden administration from using federal appropriations to fund its planned 20,000-person climate workforce initiative.

The White House’s plan to establish a climate-based workforce initiative is little more than a month old, and now there’s a bill in the House of Representatives proposing to block spending on it. 

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., introduced the No American Climate Corps Act in the House on Friday, seeking to prevent a program that aims to offer skills-based training to more than 20,000 people, as well as the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative, from receiving any federal funding.

“Instead of recognizing that family budgets are already stretched thin by sky-high energy prices, President Biden is focused on deploying a climate army that will increase regulatory burdens on business owners and drive inflation across the economy even higher,” Good said in a statement. “My bill will fight Biden’s climate extremism and continue our work towards the goal of American energy independence.” 

The White House introduced the American Climate Corps on Sept. 20 as a plan to offer job training and service opportunities for careers centered on “conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies and advancing environmental justice.”

The program was part of the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative — which aims to make 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments go to underserved communities impacted by climate issues and pollution — and planned to use AmeriCorps’ Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards grants to boost enrollment towards a targeted 20,000 people in its first year.

Under the plan, the departments of Labor, Interior, Agriculture and Energy would sign a memorandum of understanding with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and AmeriCorps to help create what White House officials call an “American Climate Corps hub” that will help coordinate federal recruitment.

The Office of Personnel Management would also use proposed rulemaking to help speed pathways to jobs in supported state, local, or tribal service programs, and the American Climate Corps will coordinate with established climate programs in five states and additional incoming state programs. 

In October, the GOP-controlled House Oversight and Accountability Committee sent a letter to AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith, inquiring about the agency sources of funding and expenditures of the program, asserting that the White House established it without congressional authorization and without clear guidance for how it would pay for it. 

House Republicans also passed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would block federal funding for the ACC, but it is unlikely to advance in the Democrat-controlled Senate. 

Good, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said the policy was part of investments driving “hyperinflation” on the American public and the proposed 20,000 ACC would be tasked with implementing “Biden’s radical ‘environmental justice’ and green energy systems.”

The bill has been referred to the House committees on Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, Education and the Workforce and Oversight and Accountability.