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Sen. Chris Van Hollen. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein-Pool/Getty Images

High-profile progressive Senate Democrats have expanded their climate wish list for the multitrillion-dollar package the White House and Democratic leaders hope to move via budget reconciliation.

Driving the news: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is leading a push for $500 billion in fees over 10 years from large fossil fuel companies — with a big chunk hitting Big Oil — to help finance climate initiatives.

  • Co-sponsors of the draft plan include Bernie Sanders, the Budget Committee chairman, and Elizabeth Warren.
  • The New York Times has more here on the plan, which assesses fees on fossil fuel producers and refiners based on their emissions from 2000 to 2019.

What we don't know: Whether the plan has any chance of advancing. Aides to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declined to comment.

  • Van Hollen, at a press conference, said backers have been in touch with Schumer's team.
  • The Maryland senator described it as something on the menu of options to help finance the reconciliation package, which has several climate initiatives.

The intrigue: Van Hollen also said he plans to sit down with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to discuss the idea. Manchin is one of the chamber's most conservative and pro-fossil fuel Democrats, and a note from the research firm ClearView Energy Partners says he's likely to reject it.

  • However, the plan's construction would likely limit its effect on fossil fuel interests active in his state, especially coal producers.
  • That's due to the emissions threshold for companies facing fees and exemptions for firms in financial distress.

The big picture: The ClearView note says that while the plan is a longshot, it's "another sign that domestic climate debate may be moving further past the market-based modalities of yesteryear and deeper into more command-oriented terrain."

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Manchin waffles on billionaire tax

Sen. Joe Manchin addresses the Economic Club of Washington today. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is telling colleagues he has deep concerns about a proposed “billionaire tax” but is waiting for more details before making a final decision, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The senator's doubts reveal an uncomfortable truth for the White House and congressional leaders as they race to finish — and pay for — their nearly $2 trillion social spending and climate package: A tax solution designed to satisfy Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) isn't necessarily acceptable to Manchin.

18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Plan B for soaking the rich

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Millionaires be warned: Democrats are looking for creative ways to tax the wealthiest Americans to pay for their $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The nation’s 700 billionaires may have dodged a bullet when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) effectively killed a plan to tax just their unrealized capital gains. But Manchin has told colleagues he's open to hitting all the country’s richest families and individuals with higher taxes.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.