Democrats blast Biden climate adviser over infrastructure remarks
Congressional Democrats from the party’s centrist and left wings blasted comments by White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy suggesting the White House was willing to remove climate measures from its infrastructure plan.
In an interview with Politico published Tuesday, McCarthy said that “while every piece like a clean electricity standard may not end [up] in the final version” of an infrastructure package, “we know that it is necessary, we know that the utilities want it, we are going to fight like crazy to make sure that it’s in there. And then we’re going to be open to a range of other investment strategies.”
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) tweeted in response that a package “that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote.”
An infrastructure package that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote. https://t.co/ghOzFj5iqm
— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) June 9, 2021
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has been one of the highest-profile congressional backers of the Green New Deal and other ambitious climate policies, responded to Heinrich with a simple, “Yep.”
“[Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and the Koch brothers are not worth setting the planet on fire for. I know some Dems may disagree with me, but that’s my unpopular opinion of the day,” she added.
Mitch McConnell and the Koch brothers are not worth setting the planet on fire for.
I know some Dems may disagree with me, but that’s my unpopular opinion of the day
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2021
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) also co-signed Heinrich’s tweet, saying, “I agree wholeheartedly with my friend.”
— Michael Bennet (@SenatorBennet) June 9, 2021
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), meanwhile, tweeted that the content of the package was not within the White House’s purview to begin with.
Just a gentle, friendly reminder that the executive branch doesn’t write the bills. https://t.co/bjpbtdATlv
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 9, 2021
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), an ally of Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted that the climate provisions of the bill are “literally a matter of life or death,” adding, “Our plan on climate needs to be built to sustain our planet, not the fossil fuel industry.”
This is literally a matter of life or death.
Our plan on climate needs to be built to sustain our planet, not the fossil fuel industry. https://t.co/5Xfq43LHYl
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) June 9, 2021
McCarthy herself tweeted that “we need to get this done” in reference to the climate provisions, adding, “That’s why — and let me quote this [Politico] article — ‘the White House [is] fighting to keep every piece’ of the American Jobs Plan and deliver ‘what is necessary to reach its climate target.'”
When @POTUS thinks climate, he thinks jobs.
That’s why – and let me quote this article – “the White House [is] fighting to keep every piece” of the American Jobs Plan and deliver “what is necessary to reach its climate target”
We need to get this done. https://t.co/fOjDXxKXkt
— Gina McCarthy (@ginamccarthy46) June 9, 2021
McCarthy’s comments came the same day the White House announced an end to infrastructure negotiations with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
The White House has characterized climate and energy provisions in the package as a major stumbling block in talks with the West Virginia Republican. In a statement Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki specifically said Capito’s counteroffers have not met President Biden’s “objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs.”