US Democrat senator is now ‘very anxious’ about future of climate legislation

·2 min read
<p>US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island during a Senate hearing. Mr Whitehouse expressed concerns that not enough was being done in Congress to combat climate change. </p> (YouTube screengrab)

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island during a Senate hearing. Mr Whitehouse expressed concerns that not enough was being done in Congress to combat climate change.

(YouTube screengrab)

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island explained his anxiety over the lack of congressional movement on climate legislation in a lengthy Twitter thread.

The senator made his comments Monday, sharing what he believes are red flags that Congress is not prepared to move on substantive legislation to combat the climate crisis.

"OK, I’m now officially very anxious about climate legislation. I’ll admit I’m sensitive from the Obama climate abandonment, but I sense trouble," he wrote.

He claimed that climate legislation has been dropped from infrastructure discussions since the bill became a bipartisan effort, but noted that it could be added back in later.

Even if it were to be added back in, he claims there is no preparatory work being done to ensure the bill's passage in the Senate, asking why Democrats have not tried to "marshal business support”.

"Corporate America is still completely AWOL if not worse on climate in Congress. All the major corporate trade associations suck — all of them," he wrote.

He said that advocates for climate legislation are bickering among themselves, demanding that future legislation focus on their policy proposals.

"We need everything, not 'my thing,'" he wrote.

Mr Whitehouse also claimed that there has been no significant focus on the oceans or the coasts, which he said were a important for inclusion in any policies aimed at combating climate change. He noted he was "trying to repair that in [the] Senate."

His comments come at a time when President Joe Biden is in negotiations with Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia over infrastructure.

While Mr Biden is negotiating with Republicans, progressive groups have aimed to pushed the president further left on climate policy.

Members of The Sunrise Movement, a progressive group focused on combating climate change, held a protest outside the White House on Friday to pressure Mr Biden to rethink his negotiations with the Republicans.

"We need planning, organizing and momentum. It’s not going to be easy. And it has to work. We are running out of time," Mr Whitehouse said.

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