A prominent Senate Democratic proponent of the Green New Deal argued Thursday that Democrats should prepare to go at it alone in passing President Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal, including its ambitious initiative to address climate change.
Sen. Edward Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, said he hopes that a “handful” of Republican senators — “even one or two” — would support the infrastructure proposal.
“If they don’t, we just have to find a way of doing it with all Democratic votes,” Mr. Markey said at a forum sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a progressive Washington, D.C., think tank.
Democrats have responded to Republican criticism of the mammoth infrastructure proposal, and the corporate tax hikes needed to pay for it, by saying they are willing to ram it through Congress using a budget procedure that does not require any support from the GOP. The administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan also was approved without any Republican votes.
Mr. Markey has been outspoken in advocating for steps to address climate change. In 2019, he co-sponsored a non-binding resolution endorsing a 10-year overhaul of the economy to reach zero-net greenhouse-gas emissions, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat.
He also said that cleaning up the environment is a central part of dealing with racial disparities in the U.S. and around the world. He said the environmental aspects of Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan should address regions with large numbers of low-income and people of color, saying they are disproportionately harmed by pollution.
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