Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill

Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress needs to step up on crypto, or Biden might crush it Democrats face growing storm over IRS reporting provision Best shot at narrowing racial homeownership gap at risk, progressives say MORE (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that he’s pushing for legislation to address fossil fuel tax breaks to be included in Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending bill.

President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE, to his credit, in the campaign, said that there should not be special tax breaks — his words, not mine — for fossil fuels. Clean Energy for America meets that campaign pledge,” he told reporters, referring to a bill advanced by his committee. 

“We’re going to push for it in the reconciliation bill as well,” he added during a press conference.

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Such provisions have not been included in the House version of the reconciliation bill — sparking criticism from some progressives. 

During Wednesday's press conference, Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act Democrats call on White House to explore sharing Moderna technology abroad Lawmakers introduce bill to limit data collection at border crossings MORE (D-Ore.) said the eventual Democratic bill “may well have” provisions like a carbon tax to encourage the transition to clean energy.

“Will any of these be in it? Well, we will see, but I wanted to mention that they are part of the conversation at this point,” he said, also referring to a methane fee and a carbon border fee.

But, the future of the entire reconciliation package remains uncertain amid doubts from moderates in the caucus, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Democrats want to bolster working women, but face tortuous choices Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock MORE (D-W.Va.), over the price tag. Democrats can't lose any votes in the Senate given the 50-50 split and the unified GOP opposition to the spending package, which contains much of President Biden's domestic agenda.

Manchin has raised concerns about the cost of the bill as well as a provision in which utilities would be paid to switch their power to clean sources.

Asked about Manchin's remarks, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBuilding strong public health capacity across the US Texas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill MORE (D-Wash.) on Wednesday said lawmakers are making the climate case to all of their fellow Democrats. 

"The inaction is not something we can tolerate, or live with, or wait another year. We are making that case to every member of our caucus," she said.

Updated at 6:42 p.m.