Padilla Joins Leading Climate, Health Care, and Tax Fairness Advocates Urging Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

WATCH: Padilla delivers remarks at press conference touting the Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Senate Democrats work to advance the Inflation Reduction Act this week, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined several climate, health care, and tax fairness advocates today at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol to highlight how the transformational climate and health care legislation will improve the lives of Californians, and Americans across the country.

“In California, we are already facing the harsh realities of the climate crisis as wildfire seasons become increasingly long and increasingly destructive, as extreme heat prevents our children from playing outside, and as toxic air pollution endangers the public health of our communities,” said Padilla. “This is a unique and urgent opportunity to pass the largest climate and environmental justice package ever, making significant strides in lowering health care and energy costs for Americans while reducing the deficit.”

The Inflation Reduction Act will deliver important relief to communities facing high inflation, rising health care costs, and suffering from climate-fueled extreme weather events, forest fires, and high levels of toxic pollution. Critically, the Inflation Reduction Act will be the strongest federal climate legislation in U.S. history and will put the country on track to reduce emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. It will also provide much-needed investment in creating healthy, fire resilient forests.

Additionally, this bill is the most consequential health care legislation since the Affordable Care Act—it will lower health care premiums for millions of Americans and includes historic reforms to lower prescription drug prices including allowing Medicare to negotiate for the very first time. The critical investments in this bill are fully paid for by curbing price gouging and making sure billion-dollar corporations pay their fair share of taxes, while protecting families making under $400,000 a year.

Padilla was joined by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), along with American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Americans for Tax Fairness, Building Back Together, Climate Action Campaign, Center for American Progress, Climate Power, EDF Action, Hispanic Federation, League of Conservation Voters, Patients for Affordable Drugs Now, Protect Our Care, and Sierra Club, as they celebrated the historic, cost-saving climate and health care provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act and urged Congress to swiftly pass the bill and get it to President Biden’s desk.

A downloadable version of Padilla’s remarks can be found here.

Padilla’s full remarks, as delivered, are below:

It is so great to be here today with so many of my Senate colleagues, not just one of us, not just two us, not just three of us, there’s a lot of us. And, of course, the dedicated advocates from across the country that are keeping up the fight until we pass the Inflation Reduction Act. We will get it done.

And there’s a reason that Senate Democrats are working so hard—fighting so hard—to advance this historic bill because as you’ve heard, it will reduce inflation. It will reduce costs for families. It means bold action against the climate crisis. And consider this, the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce carbon emissions by 40% in the next eight years.

That’s a huge deal. But wait, there’s more!

It gets even better for folks wondering if we can afford this big investment—well, we can’t afford not to invest in this, number one, but number two, it is fully paid for. It’s paid for by making wealthy corporations pay more of their fair share in taxes. And we will reduce the deficit, a win-win-win-win-win, if you ask me.

Now, as you introduced me, Dick [Sen. Blumenthal], it was, yes, my home state of California, it’s a larger state and sadly on the frontlines when it comes to the climate crisis. We’re facing the harsh realities of climate change in California in so many ways, including most recently, yet another biggest wildfire of the year.

You see, wildfire season isn’t just a couple of months anymore. Wildfire season in California and in many places across the West, is increasingly long and increasingly devastating. And it’s not just the number of acres that might be burned in any given year. 

It’s the extreme heat that is exacerbated, the air quality that makes our children suffer keeps him from playing outside sometimes, and the pollution dangers that impacts everybody’s health. And it’s not just California. And it’s not just the West. You think the floods in Kentucky this week are any coincidence?

It’s not just that the weather is changing. The climate is changing, and we need to act. The Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions that will invest over $369 billion in bold climate action, action that cannot wait because we need to leave our planet healthier for future generations.

Young activists get that. Finally, the United States Senate gets it and is going to act on it. The climate investments I’m eager to vote on—helping reduce air pollution at ports, helping accelerate clean energy research and development, supporting fire resilient forests and advancing environmental justice by providing billions in funding directly to the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution.

This is a unique and urgent opportunity to pass the largest climate and environmental justice package ever, making significant strides in lowering health care costs and energy costs for Americans while reducing the deficit.