Administration

Harris to highlight drought, climate change in Nevada trip

Vice President Harris will visit Lake Mead in Nevada on Monday to receive a briefing from Interior Department officials about the impact of this year's drought and highlight the Biden administration's proposals to address climate change.

A White House official said that Harris will receive a briefing Monday afternoon from officials with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Clark County Parks and Recreation about the impacts of the recent drought. Democratic Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford are expected to join Harris for the briefing. Lake Mead provides water to some 25 million people across Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico.

Later, Harris is scheduled to deliver remarks promoting the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger reconciliation package currently stalled in Congress, both of which include provisions to address climate change.

"In her remarks, the Vice President will emphasize that water shortages have a ripple effect on our farmers, food supply, and economy - and that climate change will continue to make extreme weather including droughts and heat more frequent, costly, and harmful," the White House official said.

"That is why Congress must pass the Build Back Better Agenda and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal bills, to address drought resilience and the climate crisis, and to create millions of good jobs building and repairing water infrastructure, restoring watersheds and wetlands, and improving water efficiency and conservation," the official continued.

Both Harris and President Biden have stepped up their public advocacy for the White House's economic agenda as Democratic lawmakers have struggled to settle differences in the timing and scope of both packages.

Biden has similarly tied recent extreme weather events like wildfires and devastating hurricanes to climate change in arguing for the proposals he has put forth.

Both bills include measures to address climate change. The infrastructure bill, for instance, includes funding to make infrastructure more resilient against extreme weather and would expand the network of electric vehicle charging stations. The reconciliation package would establish a Civilian Climate Corps and expand electric vehicle tax credits.

A planned House vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill was delayed last month as progressives refused to vote for it without a deal on the larger package, which could be up to $3.5 trillion. Biden and other Democrats are working to narrow the package to allay concerns expressed by two centrist senators, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), about the price tag and various provisions.

Manchin has also objected to some of the climate change provisions in the reconciliation package. The New York Times and CNN reported Friday that the Clean Electricity Payment Program, a program that would provide incentives for utilities to move toward clean sources of energy, was expected to be dropped from the reconciliation package due to Manchin's opposition.

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