On Thursday, Rolling Stone reported that the Koch dark money machine is revving up to take down President Joe Biden's reconciliation package, commonly referred to as the "Build Back Better Act" — and is spending tens of millions of dollars in the effort.
"Koch-aligned groups are together spending millions of dollars on advertising, targeting moderate Democratic lawmakers, and pushing their influence in the halls of Congress to whittle down or outright kill the sweeping policy package, which would represent the largest expansion of the social safety net in the past 50 years and the biggest step toward addressing climate change in U.S. history," reported Andy Kroll and Geoff Dembicki.
The Build Back Better Act has not been fully negotiated yet, but Democrats hope to contain several new public programs, including a climate jobs guarantee, an extension of the child tax credit, expansions of Medicare benefits, and universal pre-K and community college.
The Koch network — named for right-wing billionaire brothers Charles Koch and the late David Koch — has consistently sought to block Democratic economic policies, and was prominent in the effort to kill the Affordable Care Act. Among the right-wing groups that are part of the lobbying effort, said the report, are the LIBRE Initiative, which focuses on conservative Latino messaging, and the 60 Plus Association, a right-wing senior advocacy group opposed to the plan to let Medicare negotiate drug prices.
"Many of the Koch-backed groups fighting Biden's spending package are also deeply concerned about the ambitious climate provisions the package contains," said the report, noting the heavy Koch holdings in fossil fuels. "Proposed policies include expanding tax credits for electric vehicles, as well as provisions pushing utilities to use clean energy instead of fossil fuels. Add up all the climate impacts, and this could reduce America's carbon footprint by nearly 1 gigaton worth of greenhouse gas emissions, the research firm Rhodium Group estimates. This would represent some of the most significant action ever taken on climate change in the U.S."
You can read more here.