GLASGOW, Scotland — Minutes after he arrived at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told Yahoo News that if the Biden administration's agenda is passed in Congress, the United States would be "on a good trajectory" to fight climate change in the coming decades.
"I think that the commitments are good, the passage of these two bills will be better, and I think that with the two bills passed the Biden administration's going to be in a position to put a lot more administrative focus and effort into the areas where they control, as the executive branch," Whitehouse said, referring to the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Democrats' larger Build Back Better legislation.
"I think that combination, plus the continued work that we're going to keep doing in the Congress, has us on a good trajectory."
Whitehouse is one of approximately 50 U.S. lawmakers who will travel to Glasgow over the course of the two-week climate conference. The Biden administration, eager to show off a whole-of-government effort to fight climate change, will have no fewer than 10 Cabinet members at the conference.
But hanging over the negotiations all week has been the fact that Congress has yet to pass President Biden's infrastructure and spending packages, both of which contain record levels of funding to address climate change.
Asked how confident he was that both bills would soon be passed by the House and Senate, Whitehouse smiled.
"Fingers totally crossed," he said. "We're watching this minute by minute to see what's going on in the House. I will put it this way: I have a lot of confidence in Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi to get done what needs to get done."
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