Energy & Environment

Pelosi touts climate and social spending bill in Glasgow

Speaker Pelosi in Glasgow
Alastair Grant/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) touted Democrats’ $1.75 trillion climate and social spending bill, which Democrats hope to pass through the chamber next week, in remarks Tuesday at the U.N.’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. 

Pelosi called the measure the “most ambitious and consequential climate and clean energy legislation of all time.”

The Speaker is just the latest U.S. official, following President Biden last week and former President Obama on Tuesday, to highlight the measure. Democrats seek to send the signal on the international stage that the U.S. is ready to take a leadership role in the world’s battle against climate change. They see the pending House legislation as a key pillar in that argument. 

“Our legislation is far reaching, ensuring that [the] future economy is greener and cleaner,” she added during a press conference in Glasgow.

“That means $250 billion in clean energy tax credits to develop and deploy the latest in future generations of clean power,” Pelosi said. “That means over $100 billion in addition for resilience including climate-smart agriculture and nature-based climate solutions; another $100 billion toward local- and region-led climate solutions … and over $222 billion for environmental justice.”

Pelosi also reaffirmed that the chamber would vote next week on the legislation. 

“That is our plan — to pass the bill the week of November 15, as is indicated in our statements that were made at the time of passing the infrastructure bill,” the speaker said. 

The bill still faces a somewhat uncertain path in both the House and Senate.

Five House moderates promised last week that they’d support the Democrat-only bill in a vote as part of a deal surrounding the passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill. However, their pledge hinges on the result of a forthcoming congressional cost estimate. 

In the Senate, centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has expressed concerns for months about his party’s legislation. 

Democrats can only lose three votes in the House, and they can’t afford a single defection in the Senate to deliver the bill to Biden’s desk.

The bipartisan investment bill contained some environmental and climate provisions — but the bulk of the investments to cut U.S. emissions are expected to come from the contentious Democrat-only package. The measure is being moved under rules that prevent a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

Pelosi was joined at the conference by a delegation of more than 20 Democratic lawmakers, including the chairs of the committees on Energy and Commerce; Science, Space, and Technology; Foreign Affairs; Natural Resources; and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. 

Also part of the delegation was progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who notably was one of just six Democrats to vote against last week’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Barack Obama Climate change COP26 Glasgow Joe Biden Joe Manchin Nancy Pelosi

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