August 8, 2022


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Behind the Scenes of the Senate Climate Bill & What Finally Pushed Joe Manchin to Make a Deal

1 min read

President Biden is hailing a Senate bill negotiated by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer as “the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis.” While it faces hurdles before passage, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act would invest $369 billion into renewable energy and other measures to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental politics who advised Senate Democrats on the legislation, says that while the bill is not perfect, it represents a major step forward. “We just do not have another decade left to wait if we really want to be on track to cut carbon pollution in half this decade,” says Stokes.

Before the deal even emerged, six congressional staffers were arrested Monday on Capitol Hill as they held a nonviolent civil disobedience protest inside the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, urging him to reopen negotiations on the bill. We speak with Saul Levin, one of the staffers who was arrested, and discuss the role the action had in pushing the bill forward. “Our lives depend on passing climate policy this year,” says Levin. “We hope that this had an impact.”

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