For Immediate Release
Hawkins on Build Back Better: We Need an Ecosocialist Green New Deal, Not Another Biden Capitulation
The Build Back Better Framework released this morning by President Biden is a total capitulation to conservative Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema.
The $6.1 trillion program Biden announced in his American Jobs and American Families plan has been cut to less than a third of what he proposed. Proposals that are overwhelmingly popular with the public like repealing the Trump tax cuts, paid leave, and Medicare negotiating lower drug prices with Big Pharma have been eliminated. What remains are social programs with lower benefits, privatized administration, and means testing that complicates administration and adds administrative costs. The climate spending that remains makes no mandates for greenhouse gas emission reductions and are mostly corporate welfare subsidies for the big fossil fuel and manufacturing corporations that dominate the solar and wind markets. These subsidies will continue the pattern of the past decade where renewables have only added to total energy production while fossil fuel energy has increased.
I urge progressive Democrats to vote against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill because they do not have a Build Back Better bill, only a framework where they are expected to trust that the conservative Democrats will back the Build Back Better bill at a later date. Based on past experience and the negotiation process over social and physical infrastructure bills, they have no reason to trust that the conservatives will vote for the Build Back Better bill when it is drafted. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is also terrible bill from a climate safety point of view. It adds $25 billion a year in fossil fuel subsidies to the $20 billion a year already on the books. Progressives should demand improvements to the care economy programs and a climate program that penalizes carbon emissions as well as supporting new renewables.
The crises of climate and economic insecurity demand the kind of Ecosocalist Green New Deal I campaigned on to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and build 100% clean energy by 2030 and to enact an Economic Bill of Rights guaranteeing to all living-wage jobs, income above poverty, affordable housing, quality health care, lifelong public education, and a secure retirement. No version of the Biden’s Build Back Better has come close to these goals. We will continue to fight for a full Green New Deal.