(The Post Millennial) – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that she “will not support bipartisan legislation” on infrastructure unless it is “centering frontline, Indigenous, black and brown, and low-income communities that are polluted on” and “often experience the greatest brunt” of climate change-related infrastructure failures.
AOC says she "will not support bipartisan legislation" on infrastructure unless it is “centring front-line, indigenous black and brown and low-income communities that are polluted on, and often experience the greatest brunt … of climate change-related infrastructure failures." pic.twitter.com/sYkQXke5VT
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 13, 2021
As legislators return to Washington, DC following a two-week recess, nonprofit news organization Democracy Now! spoke with the Democrat congresswoman about efforts to pass major infrastructure funding that could address child care, “climate change,” education, and poverty.
President Joe Biden has already struck a monstrous $1 trillion infrastructure agreement with a centrist group of lawmakers concentrated on roads, bridges, and highways—but a fight is brewing over a larger package that Democrats want to pass in the Senate using the budget reconciliation process, which can pass with just 50 votes and avoid the controversial filibuster.
Democracy Now co-host Juan González asked Ocasio-Cortez about the developing agreement between Democrats and Republicans on infrastructure and the concerns she and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which represents the most left-leaning, progressive faction of the Democratic Party, have about the left-wing campaign to “combat climate change.”
“The [Congressional] Progressive Caucus is rather united in the fact that we will not support bipartisan legislation without a reconciliation bill and one that takes bold and large action on climate, drawing down carbon emissions, but also job creation and increasing equity and resilience for impacted communities, particularly frontline communities,” said Ocasio-Cortez who represents New York’s 14th congressional district. “That’s where we’ve drawn a strong line.”
Ocasio-Cortez stated that “we’ve made that very clear and that a bipartisan agreement will not pass unless we have a reconciliation bill that also passes.”
The progressive “Squad” member noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the White House, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have “taken that threat quite seriously” and “know that we fully intend on acting out on that if a reconciliation bill does not come to the floor of the House.”
Ocasio-Cortez emphasized that there are “many different actions that we need in a climate bill for reconciliation, whether it’s a Civilian Climate Corps, whether it is increased infrastructure and investment in rail—in mass transit—and whether it’s also centering frontline, Indigenous, black and brown, and low-income communities that are polluted on and often experience the greatest brunt […] of climate change-related infrastructure failures.”
The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, the “largest long-term investment” in infrastructure and competitiveness in almost one century, is part of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
The plan touts “transformational and historic investments in clean transportation infrastructure, clean water infrastructure, universal broadband infrastructure, clean power infrastructure, remediation of legacy pollution, and resilience to the changing climate.”
The initiative invests two-thirds of the resources that the president proposed in his American Jobs Plan, an investment that will make the economy “more sustainable, resilient, and just.”