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Another Democratic lawmaker has drawn a line in the sand as it relates to compromise with Republicans on President Biden’s once-in-a-generation American Jobs Plan infrastructure initiative.
And, for Sen Ed Markey (D-Mass), that line stands at infrastructure designed to combat global climate change.
Biden unveiled what began as a nearly $2.3 trillion proposal to reinvest in the refurbishment and revitalization of the nation’s aging infrastructure. The president included some very advanced and modern forms of infrastructure — including that which would move the United States further towards a clean, decarbonized economy.
Republicans have balked, however, and in their negotiations over the initiative, they have insisted that it focus only on such “traditional” infrastructure as roads and bridges.
However, Markey — a leader in the Senate on climate issues — essentially said, “No, way,” to the Republican limits.
“My feeling is that we have to be big, we have to be bold. We have to respond to what the American people voted for last year. And if the Republicans say, ‘No climate,’ then I say, ‘No deal,'” he said in an on-air interview with CNN. “Let’s just move on. Let’s move to the next phase where we work using the reconciliation process, as you said, which only needs 51 votes, all Democrats plus [Vice President] Kamala Harris, in order to pass something.”
Markey isn’t the only congressional Democrat to voice misgivings that Biden might choose to give up too much in hopes of catching Republican votes. Freshman Rep Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) recently made public his own frustration.
“We can’t allow the procrastination, the obstinate obstructionism which the Republicans have engaged in in the past: 1994 and 2010,” Markey added, referring to two years of midterm elections in which Democrats started out holding the White House and both houses of Congress — only to lose legislative control in those midterms. “We know what their strategy is. We’ve seen this movie before. We’ve given them enough time. If they come to the table and they are reasonable, let’s sit with them. But I just don’t think it’s going to happen after what we’ve seen in the first five months of the Biden administration.”
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