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After four hours of debate, the Senate begins to vote on amendments to the budget bill

A Sanders amendment would provide $30 billion to establish a national environmental cleanup program, modeled after New Deal-era works projects, called the Civilian Conservation Corps. Another would remove beneficial provisions for oil, gas and coal companies, including a requirement to open up at least 60 million acres of federal territory.

“In my opinion, we need to do whatever we can to confront the greed, the irresponsibility, the destructiveness of the fossil fuel industry, not give billions of welfare dollars to an industry that has destroyed our planet,” Sanders said. .

He criticized a deal Schumer, DN.Y., reached with Sen. Joe Manchin III, DW.Va., to change the federal licensing process and approve an approximately 300-mile gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia. Manchin, whose opposition scuttled previous reconciliation efforts by Democrats, was needed to push the bill through an equally divided Senate.

Sanders said the drug pricing provisions in the package don’t go far enough to contain costs. Under the package, patients wouldn’t see the prices Medicare negotiates directly with drugmakers until 2026, and they would only involve 10 expensive drugs. Medicare would be required to negotiate prices for 20 drugs over the next few years.

Current law prohibits Medicare from directly negotiating prescription drug prices, with negotiation done instead by private insurers who offer Part D plans.