Biden is worried the 'prestige' of the US 'is on the line' as Joe Manchin demands major cuts to Democrats' plan to fight the climate crisis

Biden is worried the 'prestige' of the US 'is on the line' as Joe Manchin demands major cuts to Democrats' plan to fight the climate crisis
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joe biden joe manchin
President Joe Biden; Sen. Joe Manchin Nina Riggio/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Sen. Joe Manchin opposed a major provision in Democrats' social-spending bill to fight climate change.

  • Biden said this puts the "prestige" of the US at risk ahead of a UN climate summit next week.

  • Failure to pass substantial climate provisions could jeopardize Biden's goal to cut emissions in half by 2030.

Democrats are working to come to terms with a much smaller social-spending bill than they initially proposed, given moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema's opposition to many key progressive measures in the bill - particularly the climate provisions.

President Joe Biden is worried their opposition will make the US look bad on the world stage, and push back progress in fighting the climate crisis.

Next week, Biden is set to head over to Scotland for the United Nations climate summit, a meeting of world leaders to discuss issues pertaining to the climate crisis. During his campaign, Biden set a goal to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. The major proposal that would allow him to achieve that goal - called the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) - has received opposition from Manchin, and the West Virginia Senator is demanding it be cut from Democrats' reconciliation bill.

"The prestige of the United States is on the line," Biden told a group of progressive lawmakers on Tuesday, according to California Rep. Ro Khanna, who attended the meeting. "I need this to go represent the United States overseas. I need people to see that the Democratic Party is working, that the country is working, that we can govern."

While Democrats have not yet unveiled a framework for the reconciliation bill, and the climate measures within it, Biden has signed a number of executive orders addressing the climate crisis. Most recently, he released a plan to protect Americans' retirements and savings from the financial risks of climate change, following a May executive order that was dedicated to analyzing and mitigating the risk the climate crisis poses to homeowners, businesses, consumers, and the government.

The aim of CEPP is to quickly replace the nation's coal and gas with wind, solar, and nuclear energy as power sources, but given that Manchin is from a historically coal-rich state, he is urging against any measure that could be seen to disadvantage the coal industry.

Since Democrats first introduced their $3.5 trillion social-spending proposal, a number of progressive lawmakers, including Khanna, made clear that without significant climate investments, they would not agree to a deal. However, as negotiations continue to take form, they're beginning to acknowledge this bill might not be everything they hoped for - but will still accomplish the majority of their priorities.

"All our priorities are there in some way, shape or form," Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal told reporters this week.

Still, urgency to act on the climate crisis is continuing to ramp up. The United Nations in August released a report saying some of global warming's effects will be "irreversible for centuries to millennia," placing pressure on Biden to join other countries in meeting the urgency of climate change.

At a climate rally on Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi underscored this urgency: "In every meeting, it's about this issue, all leading up to Glasgow."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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