The Morning: A very big deal

A climate bill might be Biden's biggest act as president.

Good morning. Joe Manchin's climate announcement has the potential to be a very big deal.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.Pete Marovich for The New York Times

A deal, for now

Many parts of federal policy shift back and forth over time. Taxes rise and fall, as do spending on anti-poverty programs and the military. If a package of policies doesn't pass one year, it might pass in a future year, and the long-term trajectory of the United States probably won't be affected much.

Climate policy is different.

The world has already warmed to dangerous levels. Heat waves, wildfires, droughts and severe storms have become more common. The Arctic is melting, and seas are rising. If countries do not act quickly to slow their emissions of greenhouse gases — and, by extension, slow global warming — the damage could be catastrophic, scientists have warned.

The U.S. has a uniquely important role in fighting climate change. It has produced far more greenhouse gases over the course of history than any other nation and remains a leading emitter today. In recent years, the U.S. has done considerably less to reduce emissions than Europe. The U.S. also remains the world's most powerful country, with the ability to influence climate policy in China, India and elsewhere.

Until yesterday, the Democratic Party seemed as if it were on the verge of squandering a major opportunity to combat climate change. Democrats control both Congress and the presidency, and yet they had been unable to agree on a package of climate policies to accelerate the use of clean energy and reduce emissions. Senator Joe Manchin had been blocking any deal, and the Senate is so closely divided that the Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote.

Yesterday, however, Manchin appeared to change his mind. He announced that he had agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a bill that would also reduce prescription drug prices, raise taxes on the affluent and shrink the federal deficit.

If Manchin and other Democrats remain united, it would be a very big deal. "This has the opportunity to be an enormous breakthrough for climate progress," Sam Ricketts, co-founder of Evergreen Action, an environmental group, told The Times.

It's especially significant because congressional Republicans have almost uniformly opposed policies to slow climate change (a contrast with conservatives in many other countries). And it remains unclear whether Democrats will again control both Congress and the White House anytime soon. If Congress fails to pass a climate bill this summer, it may not do so for years — while the ravages of climate change worsen.

After all the recent bickering among Democrats, I know that many people remain skeptical that they actually have a deal until Congress has passed a bill. That skepticism makes sense. Last night's announced deal between Manchin and Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, is different from a complete bill that can pass in both the Senate and the House.

But I would say this: If this tentative agreement leads to legislation, it will probably have more lasting importance than anything else President Biden signs in his first two years in office.

More details

  • Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat who has also opposed some of her party's legislative agenda, has not yet announced her position on the deal between Manchin and Schumer. A spokeswoman for Sinema said that she needed to review the legislation.
  • The package will include tax credits to speed up the development of wind, solar, hydrogen and nuclear power; a tax credit to reduce the price of new electric vehicles; and money to address the disproportionate burden of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Senate Democrats estimate that, by the end of the decade, the legislation will allow the U.S. to cut emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels.
  • As my colleagues Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley and Lisa Friedman write: "The plan would raise most of its new tax revenue, an estimated $313 billion, by imposing a minimum tax on the so-called book income of large corporations, like Amazon and FedEx, that currently use tax credits and other maneuvers to reduce their tax rates below the 21 percent corporate income tax rate in the United States."
  • Separately, the Senate yesterday passed an expansive, bipartisan bill to bolster U.S. manufacturing — especially of semiconductors — and to counter China's geopolitical rise. The bill is expected to pass the House soon.
  • Climate disasters can bury small island nations in debt. So the leader of Barbados went to the I.M.F. with a proposal to save her country.


The Economy
Source: Federal Reserve | By Karl Russell
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A women's Tour de France is back after 33 years.Monique Jacques for The New York Times

Tour de France Femmes: For women's cycling, it's a steep climb to equality.

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A sweep and a trade: The Mets finished off a two-game sweep of the Yankees yesterday, but just minutes after the final out, the Bronx Bombers traded for Andrew Benintendi, one of the top bats on the market.

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A giant boot that dangled over West 45th Street in the 1980s.Ann Slavit

Have you seen this boot?

The producers of the Broadway revival of "Into the Woods" are looking for a special prop: a huge, inflatable boot that hung over the theater's facade in the 1980s. The boot returned for the show's 2002 revival, but was stashed away when the weather got bad. Now, nobody knows where it is, James Barron writes.

"It was literally the beacon that called us all to the theater," the producer Jordan Roth said. "I think why it captured our imagination was the way it really physicalized this impossible balance of the show between whimsy and weight."

Some suspect it was cut into pieces. Others say producers just haven't looked in the right spot. "It's in storage," said Michael David, the executive producer for the original run. "I just don't know where in storage."


What to Cook
Bobbi Lin for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Eugene Jho. Prop Stylist: Christina Lane.

High-summer produce comes together in this corn salad with tomatoes, basil and cilantro.

What to Read

Hilary A. Hallett's biography "Inventing the It Girl" thoughtfully restores the early Hollywood pioneer Elinor Glyn to the pantheon of history.

Back Story

An aneurysm in 2015 robbed Joni Mitchell of her voice. That made her recent return to the stage all the more remarkable.

Late Night
Now Time to Play

The pangram from yesterday's Spelling Bee was adjourn. Here is today's puzzle.

Here's today's Mini Crossword, and a clue: Unwanted emails (four letters).

And here's today's Wordle. After, use our bot to get better.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. Vanessa Friedman, The Times's chief fashion critic, hosts a conversation about how the fashion world can reduce consumption today at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

"The Daily" is about inflation. On The Modern Love podcast, how to find the one.

Matthew Cullen, Claire Moses, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Ashley Wu contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at

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