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Sen. Mike Braun. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Stringer/Getty Images

Nearly two dozen proponents of a carbon tax across the corporate, economic and advocacy spectrum pitched their climate plan to a bipartisan group of senators over dinner this week.

Why it matters: It's a concrete sign of the growing pressure facing lawmakers to pass big policy on climate change, even though the chances of that happening any time soon remain slim.

The intrigue: Senior officials from almost every entity that's part of the Climate Leadership Council were present at the dinner, which included nine senators from both parties and those who are members of the newly formed Climate Solutions Caucus.

Where it stands: The plan the backers are pitching is a $40-a-ton carbon tax that gradually rises and from which proceeds are refunded to consumers. The coalition was launched in early 2017 by former Republican leaders, including two former secretaries of state, James Baker and George Shultz.

  • The proposal is being pushed by a coalition of strange bedfellows that includes corporations, environmental groups, former Republican politicians and economists.
  • Since its launch, the effort has gained impressive support from big oil companies and environmental groups, but it hasn't found much Republican backing in Congress.

What they're saying: In a joint statement after the dinner, Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), didn't say they supported (or opposed) the policy, and instead said they're in the process of hearing from various interests about what to do about climate change. The bipartisan pair founded the Senate caucus on the topic.

Driving the news: The council is also announcing new developments on Thursday, including:

  • New members, such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.
  • New details, including the plan would seek to work with states that already have climate policies, like California, to ensure the state policies are harmonious with federal measures.

Go deeper: As Congress mulls climate policy, carbon tax getting no love

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Defense Sec. Austin stresses U.S. commitment to Israel's security amid growing Iran tensions

Issei Kato/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived for his first visit in Jerusalem amid nuclear talks in Vienna and growing tensions between Israel and Iran.

Why it matters: Austin met his counterpart Benny Gantz and will meet later with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss Iran and regional security issues.

"I was horrified": Leaders respond to footage of Black and Latino Army officer threatened at traffic stop

An Army officer is suing two Virginia police officers after he said they drew their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop in December.

Why it matters: Footage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from leaders and groups in the state. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out," to which a police officer responds “Yeah, you should be," in a video from a body-worn camera.

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

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