MARYLAND (WDVM) — President Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan — known by many as his infrastructure bill — is still a hot-button issue in the Senate, with Democrats and Republicans trying to come to a compromise. Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen met with the Maryland League of Conservation Voters on Tuesday to share his thoughts on the bill’s future in the Senate and how it could affect Maryland.

Sen. Van Hollen is a firm supporter of the plan but said he’s doubtful the bill will see much Senate Republican support without substantial changes. But even with the filibuster still in place, Van Hollen said there is a way to pass the bill without any Republicans voting for it — through budget reconciliation. If parts of the bill are brought up during this process, Democrats only need 51 votes in its favor.

“As much as we would like Senate Republican support, you don’t need Senate Republican support,”
said Van Hollen. “You do need every single Democratic senator, plus the vice president.”

Van Hollen also expressed his solid support for the environmental elements of the jobs plan — especially those relating to water conservation. The Chesapeake Bay, which has received below-average scores on several report cards over the years, stands to benefit from the climate policies included in the bill. And the senator said these are some of his top priorities when it comes to the plan.

“That involves everything from cleaning up the water that comes out the end of a pipe to cleaning up the water that’s coming off of pavements,” said Van Hollen.

The senator said he is focusing heavily on engaging voters across Maryland, so his constituents have a more active role in how the jobs plan plays out in Congress. The American Jobs Plan has not yet been brought to a vote in any of its forms.