Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will pressure big businesses to drop their opposition to President Biden’s $3.5 trillion funding plan, which includes substantial investments to combat climate change. The business lobby — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable — is trying to stop or weaken the sweeping legislation that could get passed through the budget reconciliation process. The need for more funding toward climate mitigation and adaptation has become in sharp focus recently, as nearly a third of Americans live in an area where a federal disaster has been declared within the last three months.

“Some people ask whether we can afford to spend the money it’s going to take to reverse the climate crisis,” Raimondo said in remarks obtained by NBC News. “We are already paying for the climate crisis. And it’s getting worse. We cannot afford to sit on our hands any longer.” Investments to support clean energy and deal with climate change are expected to be a boost to the U.S. economy. (NBC News, Bloomberg $)