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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

Rep. Steve Womack: Biden's infrastructure bill needs to focus on "traditional infrastructure"

Photo: Axios

In order to pass its infrastructure bill, the Biden administration will need to focus it on "traditional infrastructure," such as roads, bridges, water, and wastewater supplies, Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said during an Axios virtual event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden and Senate Republicans have been in the midst of negotiations over what an infrastructure package will look like but they are still far apart on any deal. Republicans, like Womack, are opposed to many of the initiatives proposed by the Biden administration.

Jun 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden, Capito abandon infrastructure talks

President Joe Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito during a May 13 meeting. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Infrastructure negotiations between President Biden and a group of Republicans led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have officially broken down, and Biden now plans to turn his attention toward striking a deal with a separate, bipartisan group of senators, administration officials said Tuesday night.

What we're hearing: When Biden and Capito spoke by phone on Tuesday, the call only lasted a few minutes, and it was clear that the two sides remain too far apart to find a compromise.

Senate fails to advance Paycheck Fairness Act

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday failed to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation intended to address the gender pay gap.

The big picture: The 49-50 vote saw Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. At least 60 votes were required to end the filibuster and move the measure to the floor for a vote.