Dec 7, 2018

Democrats to Trump: Climate needs to be in infrastructure talks

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate's top Democrat is telling President Trump that any infrastructure deal must contain robust moves to bolster zero-carbon energy and build resilience to climate change.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer' demand — spelled out in a new Washington Post op-ed — is the latest sign that climate is emerging as a priority for Capitol Hill Democrats, at least for now.

Driving the news: Schumer writes that if Trump wants Democratic support on an infrastructure bill, it must have policies and money that "help transition our country to a clean-energy economy and mitigate the risks the United States already faces from climate change."

Reality check: Infrastructure is perennially floated as an area where there's potential for bipartisan dealmaking. But actually getting a sweeping political deal done is a far tougher thing to imagine happening.

  • That was true even before Schumer's decision to demand provisions aimed at addressing a problem that Trump scarcely acknowledges, and doesn't accept is human-caused despite the overwhelming scientific consensus.
  • Schumer's op-ed also bashes Trump's moves to unwind Obama-era policies.

Threat level: Schumer's op-ed says Democrats have leverage because they'll control the House and Trump will need 60 votes in the Senate — and therefore Democratic help there — to get an infrastructure bill through Congress.

Details: In the op-ed and an open letter to Trump, Schumer calls for provisions including...

  • Permanent tax credits for clean power production, electric vehicles, energy storage, efficient buildings and more.
  • Federal spending on new transmission to help move renewable power, as well as investments in smart grid and microgrid technology.
  • "Substantially" increasing federal spending on research, development and deployment of clean energy.
  • Money to help communities harden their infrastructure against extreme weather and disasters.
  • A new federal loan program to help communities build resilience, including "natural infrastructure solutions" like restored wetlands.

Go deeper: Climate politics moves up the Democrats' priority list

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.