Bipartisan Package Sets the Stage for Main Act
WASHINGTON – The Senate advanced a bipartisan infrastructure agreement this week, setting the stage for a second package of investments to fully enact President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
John Bowman, Managing Director for Government Affairs at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), made the following statement:
“With a mutating pandemic, racial injustice and a climate crisis upending our lives and threatening our future, the public is calling for a national response that drives equitable recovery with climate action in a moment when the country urgently needs both.
“The bipartisan infrastructure agreement takes us part of the way there. Now congressional leaders must finish the job with a second package of strategic investments -- drawing heavily from many well-developed and comprehensive proposals from the House -- to fully enact President Biden’s agenda to Build Back Better for everyone.
“The bipartisan infrastructure deal includes funding to speed the shift to electric vehicles, for example, expand sustainable public transit and modernize the power grid. Far more is needed, though, to confront climate change head on and set the country on track to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030, as the crisis demands.
“In important areas, the bipartisan infrastructure agreement comes up short. It provides, for example, a small fraction of what’s needed to address our failing water infrastructure, including just a third of what’s required to replace the aging lead pipes that endanger drinking water in millions of homes nationwide. We cannot short-change this urgent need, and Congress must address this as the process moves forward.
“The infrastructure deal, as currently written, would weaken foundational safeguards the public has relied on for half a century to defend the environment and guarantee our people the right to be heard on projects that impact communities and lives. We won’t Build Back Better by eviscerating bedrock protections enshrined in longstanding law."
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.