WASHINGTON - In response to Senate and House passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (H.R. 5376), Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
"We welcome the House's passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a transformational bill to address climate change and rising health insurance costs. This long-sought legislation is the most significant investment in clean energy, climate change mitigation, and environmental justice in U.S. history. It will help reduce fossil fuel emissions by approximately 40 percent by 2030, moving the U.S. closer to fulfilling its commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions 50-52 percent by 2030. The bill also lowers insurance premiums and health care costs for 13 million middle- and low-income people covered by the Affordable Care Act.
"For years, the Reform Jewish Movement has called for comprehensive legislation to address the climate crisis and to protect all communities from the deadly and damaging impacts of climate change. We are inspired by our Jewish tradition, which teaches of our responsibility to ensure both the health of our planet and the health of all people. As we follow the example of Adam and Eve who tilled and tended the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15), so must we heed Maimonides's lesson that the most important communal service a city must offer its residents is health care (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot IV:23).
"As we celebrate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we recognize that there remains much work to be done. We will continue to work and urge our nation's leaders to build on this historic achievement by expanding the child tax credit, funding home- and community-based services, transitioning the U.S. to a zero-emission economy, addressing racial injustice, and closing the Medicaid coverage gap for 2.2 million low-income Americans.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the social justice office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 850 congregations across North America encompassing 1.8 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.RAC.org for more.