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President Biden at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado on Sept. 14, 2021. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The White House is stepping up its PR push for strong climate measures on Capitol Hill even while arguing it can make lots of progress with executive powers.

Driving the news: President Biden yesterday called for congressional action in remarks at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

  • He touted proposals in the bipartisan infrastructure plan, like transmission investment, and clean energy and electric car measures in the far more sweeping plan Democrats are trying to move on an uncertain party-line vote.
  • On Monday Biden also promoted his climate efforts after visiting the National Interagency Fire Center in Idaho. The NYT has more on his appearances.

The intrigue: What caught my eye was the press gaggle en route to Colorado by White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

  • She said the White House is "strongly committed" to the Democratic legislation and the bipartisan package that's moving on a dual-track.
  • But she also talked up the "whole of government" approach of executive steps and said Biden is committed to "using all of the tools at his disposal."

Our thought bubble: The message on display Tuesday underscores a delicate position ahead of the critical United Nations climate summit that's less than seven weeks away.

  • Democratic legislative provisions like the expansion of renewables and EV incentives, and new financial carrots for utilities to speed clean power deployment, are vital to meeting the White House 2030 emissions pledge under the Paris deal.
  • But if the efforts shrink or die in Congress, administration officials still need to convince other nations that the U.S. can put real policy weight behind its nonbinding climate goals.
  • The dynamic isn't lost on the White House. A spokesperson told CNN that there are "a number of paths to meeting our emission goals and targets" and doesn't rest on Congress alone, but is "integrated throughout both."

Go deeper: The fraught sprint to the UN climate summit

Go deeper

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.

Sep 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop - Manchin: Delay Biden plan to '22

Sen. Joe Manchin walks through the Capitol Visitor Center last week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is privately saying he thinks Congress should take a “strategic pause” until 2022 before voting on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social-spending package, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.

Sep 20, 2021 - World

Sifting for clues within a climate whirlwind

UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

High-level talks in New York City and Washington this week will provide more signals about what might get done — or not — at the critical United Nations climate summit this fall.

Driving the news: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a closed-door gathering of leaders Monday morning on the sidelines of the U.S. General Assembly.