Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is ‘a strong, bold climate bill’
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed he “will not pass” an infrastructure package that removes the climate provisions of President Biden’s American Jobs Act.
“Here’s what I want to assure people: I will not pass an infrastructure package that first doesn’t reduce carbon pollution at the scale commensurate with the climate crisis. We are gonna have a strong, bold climate bill,” Schumer said Wednesday night during a town hall organized by New York’s Working Families Party.
— Evergreen Action (@EvergreenAction) June 17, 2021
Schumer’s comments come as environmental groups have pressured Democratic lawmakers not to decouple the climate provisions from the infrastructure package.
Ten Democratic senators have made public statements in opposition to a package without those provisions, according to the the group Evergreen Action. Those senators are Sens. Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Alex Padilla (Calif.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.).
“Senator Schumer is right: If there’s no climate action, there should be no deal on infrastructure,” Evergreen Action executive director Jamal Raad said in a statement Thursday. “With Democratic majorities in both chambers and momentum building for bold climate action, we cannot settle for climate denial masquerading as bipartisanship.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), an essential vote to pass any measure under reconciliation with a simple majority, has said he will not commit to backing a reconciliation package containing the bill’s climate aspects. This potentially puts Manchin at odds with those in the chamber who have committed to including the climate provisions in the final version.
“My belief is that the bridges and roads and other traditional infrastructure … have to be simultaneously bolted to the climate provisions and the family-planning provisions that match the promises … that we’ve made,” Markey said Wednesday afternoon.