Four Democratic senators joined climate activists outside the Capitol Thursday to demand climate provisions be included in the two infrastructure packages as a condition of their support.
Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Overnight Health Care — White House boosts mask availability Senate Democrats call for investigation into reported price gouging for COVID-19 tests MORE (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored the Senate version of Green New Deal legislation, called on his colleagues to pass both the reconciliation package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, set for early November.
“We must act in Congress before Joe Biden goes to meet with the rest of the world,” Markey said. “President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion The Fed has a clear mandate to mitigate climate risks Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' MORE must be able to put a deal on the table that reflects what we then expect from the rest of the world so that we begin a downward trajectory in terms of the greenhouse gases that are going up into the atmosphere.”
Markey was joined by Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Schumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates MORE (D-Ore.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Climate advocates hopeful after Manchin spending comments Overnight Energy & Environment — Manchin raises hopes on climate spending MORE (D-Minn.) and Chris van Hollen (D-Md.), as well as activists with the Hip-Hop Caucus and Sunrise Movement.
Outlining the provisions the senators consider non-negotiable, Markey named the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, as well as a Clean Energy Performance Program that would provide financial incentives for energy companies to transition to renewable energy.
“It is possible to find middle ground in many areas of politics; I know, because I have done it,” Markey added. “But we cannot compromise on science. There isn’t a middle ground between a livable and unlivable world.”
The senators later addressed Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Biden seeks to save what he can from Build Back Better On The Money — Labor chief touts efforts to promote job growth MORE’s (D-W.V.) objections to the climate provisions of the reconciliation package. The West Virginia Democrat has specifically identified the CEPP as among his reservations with the $3.5 trillion package and called for the inclusion of carbon-capture provisions.
“We’re here advocating for everything that is in the bill. Unless we do everything … we can’t solve this crisis,” Markey said. “We’re willing to listen to Sen. Manchin to try to deal with his concerns, but ultimately all of those programs that we talked about here today, we want to have in the final reconciliation bill.”
Wyden added that “[w]e’ll be talking to Sen. Manchin, but make no mistake doubt about it, but the days of business as usual [are over], starting with the legislation we’re talking about.”
Amid President Biden’s attempts to woo centrist Democrats such as Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Biden seeks to save what he can from Build Back Better Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress MORE (D-Az.), Markey added “we’re defending the president’s plan … we talk to the White House every single day and we have the president’s back.”
Both the White House and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMan who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia MORE (D-Calif.) have back the demand from progressives that the bipartisan infrastructure deal reached in the Senate must pass alongside the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, which requires only a simple majority in the upper chamber.