Feb 10, 2021 - Energy & Environment

House Democrats' COVID-19 plan eyes environmental justice funds

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at a news conference following a meeting with President Biden on Feb. 5. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats' COVID-19 relief package unveiled last night includes $100 million for EPA to address "health outcome disparities from pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic," per House Energy and Commerce Committee bill text.

How it works: The proposed funding would provide $50 million for grants, contracts and other activities, and another $50 million for EPA-funded air quality monitoring and related efforts, panel Democrats said.

  • And it also provides $4.5 billion to the federal government's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Why it matters: Democrats plan to move the wider COVID-19 relief package under the budget reconciliation process, and those measures are immune from Senate filibusters.

  • So if Senate Democrats back these provisions in their reconciliation package, they have a clear path to enactment.

What's next: The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up the package tomorrow.

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