Six House staffers were arrested on Monday while protesting climate inaction outside of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office, Common Dreams reports.
Seventeen House and Senate staffers staged a sit-in at Schumer’s office to protest the Senate’s inability to move on climate legislation after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin killed negotiations for climate-related funding.
On Monday, 165 staffers at federal agencies and Congress also sent a letter to Schumer and President Joe Biden to "demand that you take ambitious, assertive action before the end of July to address the climate crisis."
"We have worked tirelessly to achieve a safe and livable future," the staffers wrote. "Meanwhile, you have refused to declare a climate emergency."
Six House staffers were arrested for refusing to leave the office.
Those arrested included Ro Khanna staffers Aria Kovalovich and Emma Preston, Cori Bush aide Saul Levin, Jamaal Bowman aide Rajiv Sicora, Ilhan Omar staffer Philip Bennett, and Jamie Raskin aide Courtney Koelbel.
Levin after his arrest said he wants Schumer to “reopen negotiations on [the] climate reconciliation package and to actually pass climate legislation."
Levin told The Lever that "our house is on fire, and Manchin burned the stairs. Democratic leaders are walking away. We cannot. We must test the fire escape, find the fire extinguisher, tie some sheets together if we have to: Our lives depend on it."
The letter from federal staffers lamented that Schumer had “gone to some lengths” to secure Manchin’s support for “compromised climate policy.”
The staffers urged Schumer to hold a climate vote by the end of July.
"As political strategists, policy writers, and communication experts, we urge you to take a new approach that meets the urgency of this crisis," the letter said, calling for Manchin to be stripped of his chairmanship of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and shutting down the Mountain Valley Pipeline project.