Coons vows Biden won't attend Glasgow climate conference 'empty-handed'

Sen. Coons: Policy 'really matters' more than price when negotiating spending package

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on what Democrats are willing to trim out of their proposed $3.5 trillion spending package.

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., vowed that President Biden will not attend the G20 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, "empty-handed."

Coons spoke with Fox News for a phone interview on Tuesday and he touched on President Biden’s upcoming climate conference attendance.

The Delaware senator promised that Biden would not show up in Scotland behind the eight ball on the issue of climate.


"He’s not going to show up empty-handed," Coons said. "We’ve already made progress. President Trump signed into law at the end of 2020 an energy policy bill that was led by Senators [Lisa] Murkowski and [Joe] Manchin. That was a robust and significant step forward on clean energy policy."

"But it’s really the bipartisan infrastructure bill that is going to make real the promise and the possibility of those two steps forward," the senator continued. "It’s already cleared the Senate by a strong bipartisan margin, I am optimistic it will clear the House."

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Biden won't show up to the Glasgow climate conference ‘empty-handed.’  (AP)

Coons said that Biden has "things that he can point to that command broad support," such as the Civilian Climate Corps., "expanding clean energy tax credits," and "investing in climate resiliency."

"I think that he’s got a strong platform to go to Glasgow on and to talk with our allies about," Coons added. "I just would hope it would be even stronger by having the infrastructure bill on its way to his desk."

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Delaware senator was quoted by Punchbowl News as saying he had "reinforced" to his "colleagues that next week is a critical week" for the president as well as America’s "leadership on the world stage."

"To have him go to the G20 and [the climate conference] and say, ‘Well, we’re still working out the details,’ and then work out the details a week later would be an enormous missed opportunity," Coons said.

Manchin and Sinema remain the linchpin for the Democrats to get the president’s agenda across the finish line in the Senate.

Sinema has become a key figure in the Democrats’ fight to get Biden’s agenda across the Senate finish line, joining West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a fellow Democrat, in pushing for a moderate approach to the spending bills.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on Oct. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on Oct. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.  (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Because of her unflinching moderate stance on the bills, Sinema has endured progressive protesters accosting her in airports and, most notoriously, following her into a women’s restroom at Arizona State University while filming her.

Coons, who replaced the president in the Senate when Biden was elected vice president, torched the protesters for their actions, telling Fox News that it was "not at all" appropriate for them to follow Sinema into the bathroom with their cameras rolling.


Sen. Kirsten Sinema, D-Ariz. 

Sen. Kirsten Sinema, D-Ariz.  (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

"Look, accountability to our constituents, openness to the views of those we represent is an integral part of public service," Coons said, adding that "harassing, intimidating, even abusing other folks" crosses the line.

"Harassing and intimidating elected officials isn’t a constructive way to try and get them to change their mind on a position," he said. "But, frankly, going after others, students of Sen. Sinema's who have nothing to do with her policy positions, I think was a misstep."

Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.

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