21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act (HR 1966)

Historic initiative puts unemployed and underemployed to work on environmental projects

Cross-posted from: http://kaptur.house.gov/index.php/news-15011/press-releases/3391-kaptur-introduces-legislation-on-earth-day-to-re-launch-civilian-conservation-corps

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2015) —Today, on the morning of Earth Day, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Act, a bill that would combat unemployment and preserve the environment by putting unemployed and underemployed citizens to work on critical environmental projects. Such projects would include reforestation, forest fire, flood and soil erosion prevention, eradication of invasive species and flora disease, blight removal of dead plant material and abandoned structures, construction and maintenance of paths, trails and fire-lanes, and any other environmental work deemed necessary.

“At its heart, this legislation is about investing in America’s workers and our nation’s environmental treasures,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Time after time, these investments have paid off in the form of economic growth, healthy ecosystems, strong families and communities, and a thriving middle class. Rather than doubling down on wasteful and widely discredited top-down economics, this legislation restores the simple link between the work our nation needs to do and the people who are ready and eager to do it.”

The CCC Act was inspired by a successful economic initiative called the Civilian Conservation Corps that was first established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 as part of the New Deal. The initiative provided more than three million young men with jobs and skills training and inspired a widespread appreciation of the natural environment in American culture.

“Earth Day is the perfect occasion to introduce this legislation,” Kaptur added. “We need to build a sustainable and lasting foundation for strong and healthy communities that create jobs and prosperity, all of which depends directly on the quality of our air, our water, our soil, the food that grows in it and the industries that build on it. This is not just about making a smart investment in the workers that drive our economic success, it is also about protecting and preserving majestic and nourishing places in the communities where we live and work. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this patriotic environmental and economic initiative.”

No less than 80 percent of the CCC Act’s funds will be utilized for job creation and the Act will give preference to unemployed veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Work will be conducted on Federal and State land, but may be extended to private lands for public benefit, for example in the prevention of forest fires. This legislation was introduced with original co-sponsors Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI).

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Download HR 1966 Section-by-Section Bill Summary

Bill Status and Cosponsors

A New Civilian Conservation Corps  (Rep. Kaptur, letter, NY Times, 8/27/11)