- Jamaal Bowman gave an impassioned speech at a rally against Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure plan.
- “We’ve got to go big, and take it to another level. And this is our moment,” Bowman said.
- The rally urged Biden to adopt a bolder proposal and to stop negotiating with the GOP.
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Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York gave impassioned remarks outside of the White House on Monday as he joined a rally urging President Joe Biden to pursue a bolder infrastructure plan that’s more in line with progressive goals and do more to address climate change.
“They occupy our streets. They mass incarcerate us, but they leave us food insecure, in transportation deserts, and our buildings and schools falling apart. F— that!” Bowman said at the event while speaking about the history of discrimination against Black people and policies that have marginalized minorities, prompting cheers from the crowd.
“We’ve got to go big, and take it to another level. And this is our moment. This is the moment,” the New York Democrat added.
The rally was organized by the Sunrise Movement, a progressive climate change advocacy group. On its website, the Sunrise Movement said the rally was designed to send a message to Biden to “stop negotiating our futures with the GOP and a deliver a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps.”
-aída chávez (@aidachavez) June 28, 2021
-Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) June 28, 2021
-Sunrise Movement ???? (@sunrisemvmt) June 28, 2021
The White House last week reached a tentative bipartisan deal for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Progressive critics say the bipartisan proposal has effectively been stripped of initiatives to address climate change, though White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday pushed back on this. Psaki told reporters, “I would dispute the notion that it doesn’t do anything for climate.”
After the deal was reached, Biden threatened to veto the proposal if it did not land on his desk in tandem with a Democratic-only, filibuster-proof spending package to address childcare, education, caregiving, and clean energy. Republicans subsequently accused him of breaking his pledge to support the proposal. Biden went into damage-control mode over the weekend and walked back on his veto threat, offering unconditional support to the bipartisan proposal while emphasizing that he still supported the separate package.
“I gave my word to support the infrastructure plan, and that’s what I intend to do,” Biden said in a statement.
Both proposals stand on tenuous ground, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pushing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to echo Biden’s pledge to support the bipartisan plan no matter what.
Joseph Zeballos-Roig contributed reporting.