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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats' spending and tax plan and the bipartisan infrastructure package would together cut greenhouse gas emissions almost enough to meet the U.S. pledge under the Paris Agreement, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Driving the news: Schumer, in a new letter to Senate colleagues, said his office's analysis of the two proposals shows they would put the U.S. on track to cut emissions around 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Add in planned executive policies and state-level efforts, and the U.S. will reach its pledge in April under the Paris agreement of a 50% cut by 2030.

Why it matters: The letter lays bare the high stakes of the proposed $3.5 trillion, Democrats-only budget reconciliation plan, which accounts for most of the emissions cuts in Schumer's analysis, and the bipartisan package.

  • It's a clear acknowledgment that the Biden administration's ability to make good on the formal emissions pledge rests heavily on steering major new investments and policies through Congress.
  • That has global repercussions. If Biden officials can show the U.S. pledge isn't a paper tiger, it boosts the chances of successful outcomes at a critical U.N. climate summit this fall.

The big picture: The letter comes as Democrats and the White House are trying the politically tricky maneuver of moving two major and related packages on parallel tracks.

  • One is the bipartisan infrastructure plan, which has various clean energy and climate measures, that already passed the Senate.
  • The other is a $3.5 trillion spending and tax package of health care, social safety net and energy and climate provisions they hope to move on a party-line vote using the budget reconciliation process.

How it works: The emissions projections are based on a review of "best available data from a wide range of organizations that specialize in policy analysis," the letter states.

Per the letter and a short summary of the analysis, about 42% of the total emissions cuts through 2030 would come from two pillars of the reconciliation plan.

  • One is a new system of payments to help utilities greatly speed up deployment of zero-carbon power, combined with fees for companies that don't hit their targets.
  • The other is a package of new and expanded tax credits for various kinds of clean energy projects.

Elsewhere, new consumer electric vehicle incentives provide roughly 16% of the envisioned emissions reductions, and new fees on oil-and-gas industry methane emissions account for another 9%.

Go deeper: House Democrats pass $3.5 trillion budget resolution

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The breadth and limits of corporate carbon moves

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

This week will showcase how more big companies are taking steps to cut emissions — and why corporate pledges only go so far.

The big picture: It's Climate Week. That's the annual New York City event that brings together businesses, governments and activists for speeches, symposiums and pledges. The event typically serves as a venue for corporations to announce their latest efforts, and that's already starting.

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.

Dems' immigration plan hits major roadblock

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Sunday that Democrats cannot include pathways to citizenship in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, per a copy of the ruling obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's a blow to Democrats who hoped to provide pathways for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using reconciliations would have allowed them to pass politically contentious immigration changes with only 50 votes, as opposed to the usual 60 required.