Republican infrastructure negotiators dug in against President Biden’s climate plan — except on one issue.
Resiliency spending emerged from the bipartisan negotiations mostly intact, while every other climate program was cut back to win GOP support.
Biden called for $50 billion dedicated to making infrastructure more resilient to climate-fueled extremes. The bipartisan deal finalized last week puts that number at $47 billion.
The unique durability of that proposal underscores a political trend that’s been building for years: Republicans and some conservative Democrats still balk at curbing emissions, but preparing for the consequences of those emissions has become good politics.
Even some conservative lawmakers see resiliency spending as a smart investment. The federal government saves $6 for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, according to the National Institute of Building Science.
Some Republicans are pushing the administration to spend even more, especially those on the front lines of climate change.
Resiliency funding was a top priority of Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), one of the lawmakers who picked up infrastructure negotiations after talks collapsed between Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).