It’s Tuesday, August 10, and Senate Democrats want to spend $400 billion on climate response measures.

Yesterday, in the wake of the new U.N. climate report, Senate Democrats unveiled the blueprint for a $3.5 trillion budget bill to invest in social and environmental programs. The proposed legislation includes approximately $400 billion targeted toward climate-related efforts.

“The budget reconciliation bill will do more to combat climate change than any legislation ever, ever in the history of the Senate,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York.

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According to an outline of the bill, $198 billion would go toward financing clean electricity, including domestic manufacturing and the supply chain of clean technologies and materials. In addition, around $135 billion is slated to go toward agricultural programs, such as wildfire prevention, forestry and conservation, and funding a Civilian Climate Corps, NPR reported. Another $67 billion would be funneled into environmental justice programs, including clean water and solar power for low-income communities and financing green buildings and cleaner vehicles.

More broadly, the proposal includes improvements to health care, education, housing, and immigration services. To pay for all this, the bill suggests increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, as well as putting a fee on imported, carbon-emitting fuels.

The proposed legislation’s text, which has been in the works since July, is expected to be fully fleshed out by mid-September. 

María Paula Rubiano A

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Joseph Winters

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