Dem lawmakers have angered Republicans with the released of their revised version of the Build Back Better spending package which will pump billions into ‘green’ climate policies.
After a failed attempt to pass the plan last year, Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement that they had formulated and agreed upon a new, revived version of the proposal.
It will include a minimum tax of 15 percent on companies worth more than $1 billion and will use huge sums of money to fund energy investments including in nuclear, renewables and fossil fuels.
It is not yet known how much of the original bill, which was blocked by Manchin last year, will have survived the simplification of the spending plan or how much money the Dems now plan to spend on green policies. Biden originally said Build Back Better would be “the largest effort to combat the climate crisis in American history.”
The House bill also included $250 million in grants for local governments to implement green policies and reduce emissions and an additional $4.75 billion for the practical implementation of those policies.
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The news of big money heading towards green-related policies has delighted climate activists. Carolyn Berndt, the legislative director for sustainability said the spending package could be a “significant complement”.
Last month, governors from the Climate Alliance group wrote a joint letter expressing their desire for a “similar level of funding” for their cause from the revised bill:
“We are doing our part by innovating and accelerating climate solutions. We are getting more zero-emission vehicles on our roads, rapidly transitioning to clean energy, improving energy efficiency, supporting overburdened communities and displaced workers, cutting harmful emissions, and strengthening resilience,” wrote the group.
“But this is not enough to reach our country’s climate goals. We need major investment from Congress commensurate with the crisis we all face and the rapid transition we must all make.”
Meanwhile, Republicans have warned that the bill proposes far too much spending on policies which are at best just ideas, and the original bill left how the money is spent largely down to individual states.
The bill also comes as inflation rates have continually hit historic highs across the country, with many hard-working families struggling to afford every-day essentials.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn dubbed the package “Build Back Broke”on Twitter, adding that the huge spending package will “bankrupt America”.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tweeted his concern for struggling American families:
“Democrats gave already crushed American families with historic inflation,” he posted.
“Now they want to pile on tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs.
Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation.
Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs.
First they killed your family’s budget. Now they want to kill your job too.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) July 27, 2022
“First they killed your family’s budget. Now they want to kill your job too”.
His concerns were echoed by Sen. Roger Wicker:
“The seemingly endless sequels of @POTUS’ Build Back Broke agenda aren’t getting any better for the American people,” he Tweeted.
“More taxing & spending + another Green New Deal will only put our economy further back”.
Biden has urged the senate to pass the revised bill before the August recess.