House Republicans Launch Oversight Of Biden’s ‘Climate Corps’ Jobs Program

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Nick Pope Contributor
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The House Oversight and Accountability Committee is seeking answers and information from AmeriCorps about President Joe Biden’s “American Climate Corps” (ACC) program, according to a letter sent by the Committee obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Friday letter to AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith, signed by Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky and Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, requests that Smith hand over internal cost projections for the program, any communications between AmeriCorps and federal agencies related to the program, as well as any communications that AmeriCorps had with the White House and a host of environmental groups about the program, according to the letter’s text. Biden unveiled the ACC in September using executive action to help about 20,000 people find work in climate-related fields, including facilitating pathways to working in federal civil service

“Unlike the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was implemented by President Roosevelt in response to an authorization in a law passed by Congress, the announcement of the program does not reference any legal authority giving rise to the program,” the letter states. “According to the announcement, as the nexus of the ACC for federal agencies, AmeriCorps seems poised to facilitate the flow of an unspecified sum of federal taxpayer dollars to unknown individuals and entities,” the letter continues, adding that “it is unclear where these funds are coming from and for what purposes they will be used.” (RELATED: House Republicans Launch Probe Into Biden’s Energy Secretary Over EV Road Trip)

Oversight Letter to AmeriCorps by Nick Pope on Scribd

The letter also requests that AmeriCorps hand over any communications about the program that it engaged in with the governments of Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah and Washington, according to the letter’s text. Some of the jobs that the ACC will seek to prepare young people for include building trails, planting trees and helping to install solar panels, according to The Associated Press.

An earlier version of Biden’s green jobs preparation program did not make it into what eventually became the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as Republicans widely opposed it due to concerns about its potential costs, according to the Associated Press. The White House has not yet established an estimated price tag for the ACC, but some House Democrats demanded $132 billion in funding for the program in the IRA before its removal from the legislation. Biden’s initial plan budgeted $10 billion for the program before it ultimately did not make it into the IRA.

Despite the program’s exclusion from Biden’s signature climate bill, several prominent Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, urged Biden to create the ACC via executive fiat to prove his commitment to treating climate change as major threat and emergency, according to the AP. Environmentalist groups also pushed Biden to follow through with the ACC after it did not make it into the IRA.

Neither the White House nor AmeriCorps responded immediately to requests for comment.

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