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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate's top Democrat, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, is throwing his weight behind an economic message that ties climate to goals around racial justice, income inequality, labor rights and a lot more.

Why it matters: The broad resolution — which includes calls for investments in low-carbon energy and infrastructure — previews Democrats' political posture if they regain the majority and have a chance to legislate.

Driving the news: Schumer is co-sponsoring the new resolution that's a call to "Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy," or THRIVE.

  • Schumer, at the resolution's rollout event, said the U.S. is experiencing a "collision of crises" — the pandemic, the economic crisis, climate change and racial injustices.
  • "We can't play whack-a-mole with these crises, we can't pick one alone to focus on," Schumer said.
  • The bicameral plan has over 80 co-sponsors, and backers include the Sierra Club, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Service Employees International Union.

Between the lines: Like the Green New Deal, the new House and Senate resolution is a big and vague thing that tells us little about policy specifics, but plenty about the politics of the moment.

  • It reflects the increasing efforts among progressives to link climate and environmental policy to battling systemic racism and inequalities — including the disproportionate pollution burdens facing people of color.
  • There's plenty there for organized labor too. One section endorses the union-backed "Protecting the Right to Organize Act" and other steps to expand labor power.
  • But, it remains to be seen how much this very intersectional framing of their climate message might affect chances of moving big policies if a political window opens, and how it might translate into more detailed legislation.

Quick take: It's the latest example that Democrats understand big new steps on climate would probably need to hitch a ride with other priorities.

  • As we wrote here, Joe Biden has tethered his proposal for $2 trillion in climate-related investments to his wider economic recovery plan.
  • Or go back a decade, when Democrats frequently argued that the big climate bill they tried to move through Congress would help ease dependence on oil imports.

Go deeper

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
19 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.