White House disputes criticism that climate left out of bipartisan infrastructure deal
The White House on Monday pushed back against critics who say a bipartisan infrastructure deal endorsed by President Biden leaves out bold provisions to address climate change.
“I would dispute the notion that it doesn’t do anything for climate, which some are arguing,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, addressing a protest organized by the Sunrise Movement outside the White House.
Sunrise Movement protesters outside the White House demanded “no climate, no deal” and the protest was intended to call for an infrastructure package that invests in ways to combat the climate crisis.
Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) spoke at the protest. Activists held signs reading, “Biden you coward fight for us” and “for the water we drink, for the places we call home, and for the people we love.”
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 28, 2021
Psaki mentioned that the deal includes investments in addressing legacy pollution, clean energy transmission, and focuses on electric vehicle buses.
“Whether or not everyone is aware of all those specifics, that’s incumbent on us to keep conveying that, communicating it, listening, and making sure people understand that this is a down payment and the president will continue to advocate for, press for, work for, even more on climate as he will in the reconciliation bill in the process moving forward,” she said.
Progressives have expressed concerns that their priorities like climate change could be left now that Biden and Democratic leadership are pursuing a two-track system to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal and a separate bill through budget reconciliation rules on Democratic votes alone.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on Sunday that he will not support the bipartisan infrastructure bill without a reconciliation bill.
“Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change,” Sanders said in a tweet.