Jun 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Dem Rep. DeFazio: GOP refusal to address climate change is a "major stumbling block"

A sceenshot of DeFazio and Hans Nichols

Axios' Hans Nichols and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). Photo: Axios

Republican refusal to address climate change is "the major stumbling block" to bipartisan consensus on a proposed bill core to Biden's infrastructure package, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said at an Axios virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, described his bill as "probably the single largest portion of the American Jobs Plan. He said that although Republicans and Democrats on the House transportation committee "can work together on a lot of things," GOP members "just will not address climate change."

What he's saying: "They do not want my surface transportation bill to address climate change because they can't say or they don't believe in it," he said.

  • "And for the wastewater bill, they say it's too big, even though it's only a fraction of the nation's needs. And it also has a climate title to capture methane from sewer plants and generate electricity. So they they object to that."
  • "So that's a big stumbling block. I reached out to them. We can work together on a lot of things, but they just will not address climate change."

What to watch: "There's a few Republicans who will admit to climate change on the House side, I don't know the Senate that well," DeFazio said.

  • "They do have some climate provisions in the in the bill that came out of the committee in the Senate. Senator Carper's committee, they are way smaller than mine, but they're in there and they are making a nod or some recognition toward climate change."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper