Joe Biden’s team explores if climate change legislation can be tied to COVID-19 economic relief efforts. The party is looking into the possibility since Biden might face a Republican-controlled Senate.
Biden campaigned as the most progressive president after FDR and now expects a divided government in the first two years of his term. The transition team currently plans ways of working with Republicans yet circumvent when needed.
One of the team’s areas is eyeing lies on the legislation that could address both the economic and public health aspects of the pandemic.
The Associated Press reported that the former vice president’s team hopes to use coronavirus talks as leverage in securing passage of climate change proposals.
“People close to Biden’s transition team say they’re looking at that stimulus as a potential avenue for enacting some climate reforms — like aid for green jobs or moving the nation toward a carbon-free energy system — that might be tougher to get on their own,” the news outlet reported Friday.
The planning comes as the Senate control is determined by the remaining two runoff elections in Georgia in January. The Republicans who previously held the senate in 2015 need to win only one of the contests to maintain the chamber’s control.
If the GOP retains control, it is believed that some of Biden’s biggest campaign promises wouldn’t come to fruition. Several promises would unlikely be approved in the chamber, especially on climate change issues.
The left camp, whose environmental agenda heavily influences by a task force set up by Senator Bernie Sanders, proposed allocating $2 trillion to combat climate change over four years.
A large chunk of the money would be used to create a million new jobs by boosting energy-efficient vehicles. To back-up the goal, Biden plans to back legislation to incentivize individuals who would trade gas-powered vehicles for automobiles running on either hydrogen or electricity.
Biden also proposed the adoption of 100% clean-electricity standards by 2035. If implemented, all electricity produced in the US would be “carbon-free.”
However, such an ambitious platform would be viewed negatively by the GOP. Several Republicans have expressed a reining in federal spending.