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Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

We now know more about the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan — and Democrats' tactical approach to the advancing package that has a suite of climate-related provisions.

Catch up fast: The Senate voted 67-32 to move the $1.2 trillion plan toward debate last night. Per a White House release it includes...

  • $73 billion in grid-related spending, including major transmission investments.
  • $7.5 billion to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • $39 billion in public transit spending, and $7.5 billion for zero- and low-emission buses and ferries.
  • $50 billion-plus for hardening infrastructure against climate change and cyberattacks.

The intrigue: OK, we still don't have bill text, but summaries in circulation — like the one posted here via Politico and this one via Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) — describe climate- and energy-related measures funded or at least authorized. For instance...

  • $8 billion worth of new tax credits for clean energy-related manufacturing.
  • Authorization of a $3.5 billion program to create four regional "hubs" for direct air capture projects.
  • Josh Freed of the think tank Third Way has a helpful Twitter thread here.

The big picture: The bipartisan agreement comes as Democrats are hoping to move much, much larger climate provisions in a budget reconciliation package on a party-line vote.

  • Comments late Wednesday from climate-focused Democrats and activists show they're walking a fine line — greeting the plan with limited praise while trying to keep the pressure on for much more aggressive measures.
  • For instance, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a statement that "while this package contains valuable provisions, we still have miles left to go."
  • Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce called it " an important start," but said Democrats need to go "bigger and bolder" with a plan "as large as the physical reality of the climate crisis."

Go deeper: Democrats call infrastructure bill a down payment on climate (NYT)

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Democrats' debt dilemma

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats find themselves in a political and potentially catastrophic economic quagmire as Republicans stand firm on denying them any help in raising the federal debt ceiling.

Why it matters: The Democrats are technically right — the debt comes, in part, from past spending by President Trump and his predecessors, not only President Biden's new big-ticket programs. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is saddling them with the public relations challenge of making that distinction during next year's crucial midterms.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.

Watch: A conversation on investing in advanced climate tech

On September 23 at 12:30pm ET, Axios business editor Dan Primack and Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo will explore how alternative energy investments toward climate solutions function in the private and public sector today, featuring Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Galvanize Climate Solutions co-founder Tom Steyer. Register.

Go deeper: Get smarter, faster on the growing field of climate tech with our free short course.