Progressives Push Biden for ‘Bolder’ Infrastructure Plan

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Progressives are calling for “an even bolder, more comprehensive” plan on climate and infrastructure than the one President Joe Biden laid out Wednesday, in a sign of the internal divisions among Democrats that could complicate passage in Congress.

“While President Biden’s proposal is a welcome first step, more must be done to improve on this initial framework to meet the challenges we face,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, said in a statement.

There are about 100 members of the progressive caucus, mostly in the House, representing the single biggest bloc of Democratic votes.

Jayapal said progressives want a plan “that demonstrates the size, scope, and speed” required to aggressively slash carbon emissions, create millions of good-paying jobs and reduce inequality.

Jayapal cited Biden’s campaign pledge for a “$2 trillion accelerated investment” over four years on climate-focused infrastructure alone.

“Given the President’s fierce resolve in passing the overwhelmingly popular American Rescue Plan earlier this month, it makes little sense to narrow his previous ambition on infrastructure or compromise with the physical realities of climate change,” Jayapal said.

She said progressives prefer “a single, ambitious package,” rather than breaking the proposal into several smaller bills. Jayapal called on congressional leaders “to make all the economic and social investments that we need -- with or without Republican votes --and before Congress leaves for August recess.”

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