Next month’s climate summit in Glasgow has significantly raised the stakes for Democrats to reach a deal on President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE’s social spending measure, which the White House wants to tout as a U.S. achievement on the international stage.
Sending Biden to Scotland without anything close to a deal would land another blow on a president already suffering from falling approval ratings that have not been helped by the Democratic infighting over his agenda.
Lawmakers expressing optimism this week that a deal could be reached highlighted the summit, saying they wanted to help Biden deliver.
Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Degrees not debt will grow the economy Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-N.M.), who plans to attend the conference in Glasgow along with several of his Senate Democratic colleagues said it will be “critical” to get “an agreement in principle next week that clearly articulates what we’re committed to and how that will build momentum” to address global warming.
Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators seek to curb counterfeit toys and goods sold online Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (D-Mass.) said “my hope is we can come together with a package that meets the president’s promise for Glasgow and that’s going to be our assignment.”
The administration plans to make a major show of force at the climate summit, known as COP26, by sending 13 Cabinet-level members and other high-ranking officials along with the president.
Democratic lawmakers and allied advocacy groups say it would be a setback if Biden shows up without a framework agreement with Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinTrump haunts Biden vaccine mandate in courts IRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks MORE (D-W.Va.) to show other leaders that the Congress is committed to Biden’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 50 percent by 2030.
“This is a real concern,” Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsHouse passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems seek to preserve climate provisions Democrats wrangle to keep climate priorities in spending bill MORE (D-Del.) told CNN last week. “I think it’s critical that we go to Glasgow with the package of President Biden’s proposals moving forward.”
Biden’s job approval rating has steadily ticked downward since the summer, leveling off at 42 percent this month, according to a Gallup tracking poll released Friday. His public approval has fallen by 14 percentage points since June, according to Gallup.
Democrats say rising public impatience and frustration over the president’s stalled legislative agenda is likely a factor.
Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Ore.) said the dragging talks are “hurting Biden” and “hurting the Democrats.”
“It’s undermining the vision of all the accomplishments we will have as being highly significant. The frustration is people’s heads are blowing off,” he told MSNBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGOP Sen. Braun says abortion laws should be left up to states Klobuchar says 'best way' to protect abortion rights is to codify Roe v. Wade into law NIH director says it's 'possible' omicron will not be last emerging variant MORE last week on “MTP Daily.”
Democratic lawmakers and aides say the fast-approaching climate summit is yet another pressure point for getting at least a framework agreement hammered out by the end of the month.
Another looming date is the expiration of a one-month authorization of highway programs at the end of October.
Democratic leaders believe if they have a framework agreement on the reconciliation package, it would pave the way for the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to pass the House.
A person involved in the talks said negotiators are “mindful” of the need to deliver something to Biden before he heads overseas.
Senate negotiators had set a goal of Oct. 22 for reaching a deal on a framework for the reconciliation package but missed it. Manchin told reporters “this is not going to happen anytime soon” before leaving the Capitol.
Biden said Thursday that he will seek to regain the initiative on climate when he travels to Scotland.
“I’m presenting a commitment to the world that we will, in fact, get to net-zero emissions on electric power by 2035 and net-zero emissions across the board by 2050 or before,” he said. “But we have to do so much between now and 2030 to demonstrate what we’re going to … do.”
Biden disputed reports that a $150 billion clean energy program had been dropped out of the final deal though he conceded that Manchin remains firmly opposed to it.
“Nothing has been formally agreed to,” he insisted.
A senior administration official said the Glasgow conference is “a really pivotal moment to underscore how the U.S. is thinking about climate security, its risks and how we’re responding to many of those.”
The official said the administration wants to demonstrate a “whole-of-government approach” at the summit and has a “heightened sense of urgency” to marshal other countries to support limiting global warming to the 1.5 degree Celsius goal laid by the Paris Agreement in late 2015.
When then-President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden on Bob Dole: 'among the greatest of the Greatest Generation' Moving beyond the era of American exceptionalism The bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns MORE attended the Paris COP21 U.N. climate talks that year he was hampered by Republican control of the Senate and House and could only pledge to take executive action to curb U.S. carbon emissions.
The skepticism Obama encountered seven years ago from international leaders about his ability to implement lasting climate reforms was born out when former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE reversed more than 20 Obama-era rules on air pollution and emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency under Trump rolled back Obama-era regulations to limit carbon emissions from power plants and vehicles.
One Senate Democratic aide warned that talks could begin to slide backward if a preliminary deal isn’t wrapped up by the time Biden leaves the country.
“Leaving with these loose ends unresolved is a problem,” said the aide. “How do you leave with this lingering over your head while you’re overseas? It’s a perfect opportunity to fall off and fall apart so I think they need to nail down a deal.”