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house Bill H.R. 2358

Should Congress Create a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps to Fight Unemployment & Protect the Environment?

Argument in favor

A new Civilian Conservation Corps would combat unemployment and allow for the completion of numerous public works projects like those accomplished by the original CCC during the Great Depression.

Jim's Opinion
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06/01/2019
National service should be required of all citizens. This would help to provide another opportunity to serve. Personally, I believe in military service for everyone. It changes the national attitude toward armed conflicts. Saw this in Vietnam and then after when there was only the lottery, then nothing. Fewer Chicken Hawks when you or your son or brother (or sister) have to go to the front.
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Steve's Opinion
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06/01/2019
While the idea of a new CCC I believe it needs to be expanded beyond the 1930’s scope of only National Parks and trails etc. While unemployment is low there are many current problems such as infrastructure, agriculture, inner city repair, medical and elderly in-home services etc that need manpower. Low unemployment will not last forever and to find and train people is not a short process Additionally the President and Congress should not be included in the day-to-day operations as they are not qualified with a single agency being required for management and implementation
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burrkitty's Opinion
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06/02/2019
The original CCC build a great many of the National Park infrastructures. It was a great program. Something like that today would be a asset if used for that same purpose. Conservation of our natural resources.
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Argument opposed

Massive public works programs like a new version of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps quickly become an accountable waste of taxpayer dollars. There’s no need for a CCC at this time.

Poli.Sci's Opinion
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06/01/2019
If we were suffering from 30% unemployment than maybe yeah, but since we are at record lows for unemployment, we do not need to be wasting taxpayer money every fiscal year on a program that costs billions a year.
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ManfromNebraska's Opinion
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06/02/2019
This is not needed and will just create more government employees. Our government needs to make cuts not increase jobs. If you want to help the environment get the government out of the way.
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FracturedGhast7's Opinion
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06/01/2019
I love the idea of this bill and it was hard to choose but I would have to say nay simply because it isn’t currently needed. We could use that money for other agencies, departments, etc. Plus, that money would end up going to waste as currently, unemployment rates are very low.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2358?

This bill would allow for the establishment and operation of a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to employ U.S. citizens who are otherwise unemployed or underemployed in the construction, maintenance, and carrying on of public works projects. It would authorize $16 billion in appropriations for each fiscal year from 2018 through 2021 to operate the CCC, and the authority to operate the CCC would expire at the end of fiscal year 2021.

The CCC’s work would include the following projects:

  • Forestation of federal and state lands;
  • Prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion; 
  • Plant pest and disease control;
  • Construction, maintenance, or repair of paths, trails, and fire-lanes in the National Park System, and other public and federal lands; and
  • Such work on federal or state land that’s incidental to or necessary in connection to the above tasks.

Existing federal agencies would be used to operate the CCC, and the president would have the authority to let the CCC work cooperatively on private lands to fight forest fires or control floods. The CCC would give preference to unemployed veterans, unemployed citizens who’ve exhausted their unemployment benefits, and unemployed citizens who are eligible for unemployment compensation under state or federal law. At least 80 percent of the funding authorized by this legislation would have to be used to relieve unemployment.

Impact

People who could work in the CCC; state governments; and federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2358

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) reintroduced this bill from the 116th Congress to reestablish and build upon the historic achievements of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

“The magnitude of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the incredible work it accomplished is hard to overstate. At the height of the Great Depression, the CCC successfully lifted millions of Americans out of poverty while constructing hundreds of national, state, and local parks – parks that countless Americans enjoy to this day. The 21st Century CCC will emulate the success of the original program, while taking steps to address the unique and important issues we face today, including the effects of climate change. Members of the 21st Century CCC will engage in the prevention of forest fires, floods and soil erosion; reforestation and eradication of invasive species and flora disease control; and modernize, redesign, and construct trails and facilities throughout our nation’s natural spaces. This is a commonsense proposal that will not only improve the lives of Ohioans, but also countless communities across the country."

Last Congress, Rep. Kaptur introduced this bill to create a Civilian Conservation Corps to “combat unemployment and preserve the environment by putting unemployed and underemployed citizens to work on critical environmental projects.” Kaptur added:

“After Earth Day, the March for Science and now Arbor Day on Friday – there is no better time to rededicate ourselves to creating jobs, investing in the American worker and protecting our nation’s environmental treasures. This is not some pie in the sky economic theory.  These are public investments proven to stimulate job growth and impart skills in the workforce.  If the Administration is serious about creating jobs, this bill will put people to work now. Through federal efforts such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other conservation and restoration investments, Americans are connecting the dots between clean water, clean land, clean air and thriving regional economies.”

In a 2017 interview with Pacific Standard, Rep. Kaptur extolled the life-changing potential of this program: 

"It would be life changing, it would be perspective changing for people. Imagine taking a youngster from Detroit, or someone from Toledo who is unemployed, and giving them an opportunity to do something really great for the country... There are a lot of jobs that can be created in this country, tending to our natural and environmental systems."

This bill has 12 Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it had the support of 17 Democratic cosponsors in the House and didn't receive a committee vote. Rep. Kaptur has introduced this bill for nearly a decade.


Of NoteFrom 1933 to 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps served as a work relief program for more than 3 million American men, who planted more than three billion trees and built trails and shelters in more than 800 parks across the nation. Enrollment in the CCC was capped at 300,000 at any time.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: traveler1116 / iStock)

AKA

21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act

Official Title

To authorize the President to reestablish the Civilian Conservation Corps as a means of providing gainful employment to unemployed and underemployed citizens of the United States through the performance of useful public work, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedApril 25th, 2019
    National service should be required of all citizens. This would help to provide another opportunity to serve. Personally, I believe in military service for everyone. It changes the national attitude toward armed conflicts. Saw this in Vietnam and then after when there was only the lottery, then nothing. Fewer Chicken Hawks when you or your son or brother (or sister) have to go to the front.
    Like (104)
    Follow
    Share
    If we were suffering from 30% unemployment than maybe yeah, but since we are at record lows for unemployment, we do not need to be wasting taxpayer money every fiscal year on a program that costs billions a year.
    Like (54)
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    Share
    While the idea of a new CCC I believe it needs to be expanded beyond the 1930’s scope of only National Parks and trails etc. While unemployment is low there are many current problems such as infrastructure, agriculture, inner city repair, medical and elderly in-home services etc that need manpower. Low unemployment will not last forever and to find and train people is not a short process Additionally the President and Congress should not be included in the day-to-day operations as they are not qualified with a single agency being required for management and implementation
    Like (74)
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    Green new deal
    Like (51)
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