Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: ‘This is our moment’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that now is the “moment” to address climate as Democrats seek to pass provisions to address the matter through a massive reconciliation package.

“This is our moment. We cannot — we don’t have any more time to wait,” Pelosi said at a news conference in San Francisco regarding the urgency on lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at addressing the environment and climate. 

Pelosi said it was necessary the measure be passed ahead of the United Nations climate summit, which starts at the end of October. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has indicated that both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and larger reconciliation package should be passed and ready for President Biden’s signature by the end of October.

“Now it is a level of urgency that is an imperative that we get this job done in preparation for COP26, which is right around the corner, and to do so that helps us honor our responsibilities but also share with other countries — developing countries — technology, resources that they need to meet their responsibilities for the children,” Pelosi said.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), who attended the event in San Francisco, echoed that sentiment and said, “Climate cannot be on the chopping block in this or any budget.”

“We cannot afford to leave these problems to be dealt with another day,” he said.

Pelosi reflected on her legacy of trying to pass a climate bill during her first stint as speaker. Pelosi had been able to pass a climate bill through the House in a narrow 219-212 vote, however those efforts ultimately failed in the Senate. 

A chance for Pelosi to pass major climate provisions in the reconciliation package — including electric vehicle and clean energy tax credits and a proposed program that would use fines and grants to help clean energy sources fuel electricity — could be another chance for the California Democrat to further cement her legacy.

Pelosi’s remarks also highlight the urgency that Democrats are feeling to make inroads on both the bipartisan infrastructure and reconciliation package, the latter of which currently sits at $3.5 trillion. Efforts earlier this month to put a bipartisan infrastructure bill on the House floor for a vote were punted several times as progressives warned they would tank the bill if the reconciliation package was not passed first.

However, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have indicated they do not support the current price tag of the reconciliation package, and Manchin has indicated that he would favor a figure between $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion. It is not immediately clear what top-line price Sinema would support. 

Tags Alex Padilla Alex Padilla bipartisan infrastructure bill Charles Schumer climate Climate change Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi reconciliation bill

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