Biden’s energy proposals have emerged as a major point of contention between moderates and progressives
Sen. Joe Manchin, DWA, said Tuesday that a so-called “carbon tax” is not being considered for inclusion in President Biden’s social spending bill, a move for Democratic leaders scrambling for a deal on the administration. presents another potential roadblock. Signature Law.
Some Democrats, including Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, have called for the inclusion of a carbon tax, which would charge firms based on their greenhouse gas emissions. But the West Virginia Democrat, whose support is needed for spending to pass the Senate, said the idea is not up for consideration.
“The carbon tax is not on board yet,” Munchkin told reporters.
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Calls for a carbon tax have gathered momentum in recent days amid reports that Manchin opposes the Biden-backed Clean Electricity Demonstration Program, an initiative that would reward utility firms for transitioning to clean energy. But the carbon tax is divisive even on Capitol Hill, with critics including Manchin warning that it could effectively act as a tax hike and raise costs for middle-class Americans.
Another liberal, Democratic Senator John Tester of Montana, told reporters he was “not a big fan” of the concept of a carbon tax.
Despite Manchin’s comments, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated during her daily press briefing that administration officials still see a carbon tax as a possible solution.
“I’m not taking a choice on or off the table. It’s an ongoing conversation,” Saki said. “And clearly each senator or member who is part of the negotiations can speak for themselves and what they are for or against at this point in the process.”
Biden’s energy proposals have emerged as a major point of contention between moderates and progressives. House Progressive leaders have urged Democratic leadership not to dilute the scope of Biden’s spending plan to placate moderates, while Senate moderates say they will not support the bill without significant cuts to its overall cost .
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Democratic leaders have set an October 31 deadline to reach an agreement toward passing a spending bill and a separate $1.2 bipartisan infrastructure deal focused on physical projects.