WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — While Republicans and Democrats agree a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package would improve America’s crumbling roads, schools and hospitals, the GOP plans to block the bill because of requirements to fight climate change.
Wednesday, the House Democrats passed the Moving Forward Act, an infrastructure package that would rebuild roads, bridges, railways and improve schools, hospitals, rural broadband and access to clean water.
Democrats maintain the pandemic makes the need to invest in infrastructure even more immediate.
“Fifty percent of America’s schools in America do not have HVAC systems that can handle COVID,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon.
Oregon’s Suzanne Bonamici said the investment will pay off and “help us transition to a clean energy economy while creating high quality good paying jobs.”
Nevada’s Dina Titus said it also helps the environment.
The bill “provides for more efficiencies in highway construction for example, places where you can plug in your electric vehicles,” Titus said. “More efficiencies for school construction to make them more heat efficient.”
But Republicans oppose the plan which would give more federal dollars to states that do the most to reduce carbon emissions and withhold money from states that don’t do enough.
“The Speaker has chosen to spend the House’s time this week on a multi-thousand page cousin of the Green New Deal masquerading as a highway bill,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
GOP Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri said Republicans should have more input.
“Dusting this bill with a few amendments that Republicans support doesn’t make it a bipartisan process or a bipartisan product,” Graves said.
President Trump has promised to veto this bill if it reaches his desk.