AOC says progressives will 'tank' infrastructure bill without bold climate change provisions
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that progressives will "tank" the bipartisan infrastructure bill if Democrats don't also pass a spending package that includes provisions on climate change, jobs and other liberal priorities. "House progressives are standing up. We will tank the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless we will also pass the reconciliation bill," the New York Democrat said during a virtual town hall, according to Bloomberg News. In a late-night announcement Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Budget Committee had reached an agreement to allot $3.5 trillion for the spending package that would complete President Bidens infrastructure plan. "You add that to the $600 billion in a bipartisan plan and you get to $4.1 trillion, which is very, very close to what President Biden has asked us for," Schumer said. "Every major program that President Biden has asked us for is funded in a robust way." The congresswoman called the reconciliation package an "enormous victory." "This bill is absolutely a progressive victory," she said, according to NY1 in New York City. "If it wasn't for progressives in the House, we probably would be stuck with that tiny, pathetic bipartisan bill alone." Democrats plan to pass the bill using reconciliation, meaning they wont need Republican votes and can bypass a potential filibuster, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can afford to lose only four Democratic votes, according to Bloomberg. SCHUMER ANNOUNCES $3.5 TRILLION SPENDING PLAN TO PAIR WITH INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE The budget will cover costs to expand Medicare, address climate change, child care and education all big-ticket items deemed "human infrastructure" that Republicans said they would fervently reject. Many of the specifics of the bill still need to be worked out, however. "If [Sen. Joe] Manchin, and in the Senate, if they approve our reconciliation bill we will approve their bipartisan bill," Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday, according to Bloomberg. "And if they try to strip immigration reform, if they try to, you know, claw back on child care, climate action, etc., then were at an impasse its a no go." Pelosi also said Thursday the House may "realign" some of the provisions in the Senate package, which could risk support from moderates in both chambers, according to Bloomberg. Manchin, a Democrat, has said he still needs information about the budget plan before he agrees to it and has concerns about the fossil fuel provisions wanted by progressives since hes from West Virginia, a coal-mining state.