Progressive Lawmakers to Unveil Legislation on Energy and Public Housing
“Public housing has been neglected, left to get worse, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” Mr. Schumer said. The president’s plan, he added, was “a good start, but it ain’t enough.”Mr. Sanders, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and allies envision the proposal costing between $119 billion and $172 billion over 10 years to meet the needs of their constituents, according to an estimate provided to The New York Times. It aims to create thousands of maintenance and construction jobs.“Probably our best bet would be one bill — and it should be a large bill,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview. “I think it’s just easier and more efficient for us to work as hard as we can in a comprehensive broad infrastructure plan, which includes human infrastructure as well as physical infrastruture.”Republicans, who have sought to weaponize the Green New Deal in recent years as egregious federal overreach that would harm the economy, have already seized on the climate and housing provisions in Mr. Biden’s plan as far beyond the traditional definition of infrastructure. Mr. Biden is also preparing a second proposal that would focus even more on projects outside what Republicans call “real” infrastructure and could bring the total cost to $4 trillion.“Republicans are not going to partner with Democrats on the Green New Deal or on raising taxes to pay for it,” Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said at a news conference last month. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, has repeatedly warned that the infrastructure plan is “a Trojan horse” for liberal priorities, while Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, declared last week that “it’s a lot of Green New Deal” that would lead voters to turn away from Democrats.“I think the expansive definition of infrastructure that we see in this sort of ‘Green New Deal wish list’ is called into question,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, said on “Fox News” last week. “I don’t think that the American people, when they think of infrastructure, are thinking of home health aides and other things that are included in this bill.”In acknowledgment of both Republican resistance to Mr. Biden’s plan and the lure of bipartisan legislation, some lawmakers have raised the possibility of first passing a smaller bill that addresses roads, bridges and broadband with Republican votes before Democrats use the fast-track budget reconciliation process to bypass the filibuster and unilaterally push the remainder of the legislative proposals through both chambers.