Rabbi David Saperstein: "Climate change, the most urgent, multifaceted and complex issue facing our nation and our world, is too significant to leave unresolved by this Congress."
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Following this morning's failed Senate cloture vote on the motion to proceed on an historic climate bill, America's Climate Security Act, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the Senate's failure this week to engage in a long overdue substantial, policy-driven debate on climate change legislation. America's Climate Security Act - sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Warner (R-VA), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) - deserved a better reception from the Senate than to have fallen victim to political machinations.
Climate change, the most urgent, multifaceted and complex issue facing our nation and our world, is too significant to leave unresolved by this Congress. The Boxer-Warner-Lieberman amendment to the Climate Security Act was a critical first step in addressing our nation's disproportionate contribution of carbon emissions into the atmosphere and an effort to pursue justice by directing billions of dollars in revenue to assisting those most in need both domestically and internationally. From droughts to storm damage, rising food prices to sea levels, climate change is already affecting low income Americans and least developed nations most harshly. We commend the sponsors and co-sponsors of this legislation who championed the cause of the needy throughout the legislative process. We urge the Senate and Majority Leader Reid to reconsider debate and passage of this bill later in the year as the climate crisis worldwide is too desperate to ignore.
Despite the deeply felt disappointment over the failed cloture vote, we are heartened by the 48 votes to proceed with the bill's consideration, and the majority of Senators who, though not all present for the vote, supported moving the bill forward. Their support makes clear that a majority of the Senate is now ready to engage in a tough and needed debate on climate change policy.
As Congress moves to consider climate change legislation in the future, the Reform Movement will remain at the forefront of those in the faith and other communities who are committed to act on behalf of the earth, our national security, international stability, and the poorest people worldwide.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more
than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis