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Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

Representing the 21st District of New York

Langevin, Stefanik Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging the President to Restore Climate Change to the National Security Strategy

January 12, 2018
Press Release
Effort builds on Congressional declaration that climate change is a “direct threat to the national security of the United States”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) sent a letter to President Trump urging him to recognize climate change as a national security threat to the United States. The letter, which was signed by a bipartisan group of 104 additional lawmakers, was sent in response to the President’s recently released National Security Strategy, which omitted any mention of climate change. This is in contrast with the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that the President signed last month that includes language authored by Langevin explicitly recognizing this threat to our national security.

“It is imperative that President Trump include climate change as part of his National Security Strategy,” said Congressman Langevin. “As our military leaders around the globe see the effects a changing climate is already having on our mission resiliency, it is critical that we address this challenge head on. Congress took a monumental step in recognizing the threats climate change pose to our national security when the NDAA was passed and signed into law. I hope the President will reconsider this omission and join national defense and intelligence leaders in recognizing that climate security is national security.”

“Climate change poses serious concerns for our national security and for political instability around the globe,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This is a concern I share with many of our nation’s top national defense experts, including Secretary Mattis. As a Member of the Climate Solutions Caucus and the author of the House Republican Climate Resolution, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the threats posed by climate change are being addressed at the federal level.”

“We have heard from scientists, military leaders, and civilian personnel who believe that climate change is indeed a direct threat to America’s national security and to the stability of the world at large,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter transmitted to the President. “As global temperatures become more volatile, sea levels rise, and landscapes change, our military installations and our communities are increasingly at risk of devastation. It is imperative that the United States addresses this growing geopolitical threat.”

The National Security Strategy is a report to Congress required by the Goldwater-Nicholas Act that outlines the Administration’s goals and objectives for securing the United States. During consideration of the FY18 NDAA, 46 Republicans joined 188 Democrats in voting to preserve the Langevin provision expressing the sense of Congress that “climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” The provision directs the Secretary of Defense to provide an assessment of and recommendations to mitigate vulnerabilities to the top 10 most threatened military installations in each service. It also requires the Secretary to address combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years. The required report must be submitted to Congress before the end of this year.

A copy of the letter can be found here.  

Cosigners of the letter include Representatives: Jim Langevin (D-RI), Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Val Butler Demings (D-FL), Salud O. Carbajal (D-CA), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Costa (D-CA), Ryan A. Costello (R-PA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Susan Davis (D-CA), John K. Delaney (D-MD), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Charles W. Dent (R-PA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT), John J. Faso (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), John Garamendi (D-CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Denny Heck (D-WA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), William R. Keating (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Ruben J. Kihuen (D-NV), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Daniel W. Lipinski (D-IL), Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Richard F. Nolan (D-MN), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Scott H. Peters (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Price (D-NC), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Mimi Walters (R-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Peter Welch (D-VT), Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), John Yarmuth (D-KY).

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