Democrats try to Trump-proof climate health programs

By Ariel Wittenberg | 03/26/2024 06:49 AM EDT

House legislation would protect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s climate program.

The Statue of Liberty, covered in a haze-filled sky.

The Statue of Liberty, covered in a haze-filled sky, is photographed from the Staten Island ferry last year in New York. Yuki Iwamura/AP

House Democrats hope a five-year-old bill will protect Centers for Disease Control and Prevention climate programs if former President Trump returns to the White House.

Democratic lawmakers reintroduced the “Climate and Health Protection Act” last month, as Trump closed in on the Republican nomination and conservative groups began laying out their agenda for a second Trump term. Those blueprints include a rollback of “woke policies” within the Department of Health and Human Services, alarming health advocates who believe the department must continue to address climate change’s health impacts.

“I have no doubt that a second President Trump could systematically gut and zero out every climate program in the federal government he could find,” bill co-sponsor Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) said in an interview with E&E News. “At the end of the day, if these programs are not in statute, they are vulnerable to a future administration coming in.”


The bill enshrines into law the core functions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Climate and Health Program. It authorizes the program to receive up to $110 million in annual appropriations and prohibit its budget from being reallocated to other priorities.