Progressives fear infrastructure’s climate plans won’t survive Senate

Progressives fear infrastructure’s climate plans won’t survive Senate

The White House infrastructure package released last week contains a number of environmental agenda items high on progressive wish lists, but some advocates are concerned those same items could be sacrificed to ensure passage in the 50-50 Senate.

What’s in the package: President Biden’s $2.25 trillion proposal would create a Civilian Climate Corps, boost spending on sustainability and clean energy and push for universal clean water by replacing all lead pipes in the U.S.

“On the whole, this proposal is a victory for our movement, and a real result of the power we’ve built over the past few years,” Ellen Sciales, press secretary for the Sunrise Movement, told The Hill.

But environmentalists are worried that what they see now might look different as legislation moves through Congress, particularly with a razor-thin majority for Democrats in the Senate. There’s also no guarantee that moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) will support all of the climate change provisions.

What’s the latest? A recent ruling by the Senate parliamentarian gives Democrats the option of advancing the infrastructure package through what’s known as the budget reconciliation process, which would let them avoid a GOP filibuster so long as they can keep all members of their caucus together.

“That is the fear; we don’t have much control over this aspect. And with reconciliation, a lot of policy gets dropped because of the arcane budget rules,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Hill.

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