If you think the people President-Elect Joe Biden appoints to lead the executive branch should be people who 1) don’t have ties to agribusiness, fossil fuel companies or corporate lobbyists, 2) represent the diversity of America, and 3) are ready to act with the urgency that the climate, economic, health and farm crises demand, please sign this petition in support of the climate justice cabinet.
The Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats have proposed a slate of potential cabinet picks that includes the top advocates for regenerative organic food and farming, including organic farmer and Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree for Agriculture Secretary.
Take Action: Endorse Chellie Pingree and the entire Climate Justice Cabinet.
The first thing to know is, “No, Mitch McConnell Can't Veto Joe Biden's Cabinet.”
The Vacancies Act “allows a new president to choose from two groups of people to serve as ‘acting’ secretaries: either any Senate-confirmed official (including dozens of sitting Democrats serving as commissioners at multi-member agencies) or any senior civil servant who has served in that agency for 90 days and is paid at the GS-15 level or above.”
“The Recess Appointment Clause, meanwhile, allows presidents to install “acting” officials while the Senate is in adjournment for at least 10 days… Biden can force the Senate into the recess if McConnell attempts any blockade of his cabinet.
“Under the Constitution’s presidential adjournment clause, if the Senate and House cannot agree on whether or not to adjourn, the president can adjourn Congress ‘for such time as he shall think proper…’ With an allied Speaker of the House, Biden can instigate an adjournment standoff, resolve it, and make his appointments in the interim.”
Biden doesn’t have to pick people McConnell would like. Heidi Heitkamp―someone Trump considered for Agriculture Secretary and who is rumored to be Biden’s top choice―and her ilk should be struck from his list. As the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats write:
“America needs a Secretary of Agriculture who will bring investment and economic opportunity to family farmers and rural communities. By investing in local and regional food systems that support farmers, agricultural workers, healthy soil, and climate resilience, the next Secretary of Agriculture can ensure economic security while advancing our fight against climate change.
“Rep. Chellie Pingree has been an organic farmer for more than 40 years and recognizes that farmers are allies in the fight against climate change.”
Indigenous, racial justice and climate activists staged an occupation outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., the week before Thanksgiving, calling on President-elect Joe Biden to appoint a Cabinet free of lobbyists and others with close industry ties.
A number of lawmakers spoke at the protest, including Congressmember-elect Cori Bush from Missouri and Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Democracy Now! aired excerpts of their remarks. You can watch the entire livestream of the protest here.
“It would be great to see the head of Agriculture, Interior and the Bureau of Land Management be people who actually are stewards of the Earth, not just people who want to extract from it,” said Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, North America Director, 350.org, at the demonstration.
Take Action: Join the #BidenBeBold Campaign: Tell the President-Elect to Appoint a Climate Justice Cabinet!