23 House Democrats call for Biden to keep full climate funds in Build Back Better
Correction: This story was updated to note that Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) was the lawmaker who led the letter in the House.
Twenty-three Democratic members of Congress on Monday called on President Biden to ensure that any amended version of the ambitious Democratic reconciliation bill retain its current climate and resiliency provisions.
The members, led by Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.), noted a number of extreme weather events and natural disasters that have occurred in just the two months since the House passed its version of the package, including a tornado that killed at least 78 people in Kentucky.
“The $555 billion in climate investments that passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Build Back Better Act will help our nation meet the test of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, a goal that you set and that science and justice require. As the deadly and devastating consequences of the climate crisis made clear throughout 2021, the time for transformational climate action is right now,” the members wrote. “We urge you in the strongest possible terms to move swiftly to finalize the most comprehensive legislation that can pass the Senate and get this historic progress to your desk for your signature in the coming weeks.”
The other signers of the letter were Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Josh Harder (D-Calif.), Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Kim Schrier (D-Wash.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Susan Wild (D-Pa.).
The signers included members associated with the centrist wing of the party and members considered to be particularly at risk in the 2022 midterms.
In December, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) declared after months of negotiations that he could not back the bill in its current form. Although Manchin has frequently clashed with progressives on energy and environmental issues, he has signaled willingness to back the bill’s climate provisions.
“I think that the climate thing is one that we probably can come to agreement much easier than anything else,” Manchin said earlier in January, referencing which of the package’s components he would be willing to support.
Updated: 6 p.m.