"We don't need Congress," White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told press on Thursday. "We can do it without Congress, as I just laid out."
This came in response to a question about the Biden administration's climate change plans, and how it would be possible for Biden to claim that the US was a global leader in climate change action if his big spending plans didn't pass muster in Congress.
Jean-Pierre was asked "It's looking more and more like the clean energy performance program might not make it in the final version of the reconciliation package that was a really big part of how the President planned to meet his own emission goals. So what message does that send to other countries?"
In response, the Deputy Press Secretary listed off a series of programs that the president count enact without consulting the people's representatives in Congress. She said that the president "will advance his climate agenda using every tool at his disposal."
These tools include "curbing emissions, growing our economy, and good-paying union jobs," all of which, she said, could be done "without Congress."
Additional examples include "leading the shift towards electric vehicles... bringing together automakers and autoworkers, phasing out super pollutants... to reduce emissions."
She cited government investment, without Congressional approval, on "clean energy like offshore wind and solar," and "making historic commitments to use every lever at his disposal to advance environmental justice and spur economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities and extreme weather events."
Jean-Pierre noted further that the Biden administration is working hard to make the weather better for the US and the world.
Jean-Pierre cited a report showing that the "US has multiple pathways to meet President Biden's pledge to reduce emissions." She said that the administration would continue to work with Congress, but that "
Biden's much-touted Build Back Better program looks unlikely to make it through Congress in the form in which he would prefer. But the plan, costing some $3.5 trillion in its full form, has hit a snag. Centrist Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have both dug in their heels on the massive spending plan.
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