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INDIANAPOLIS – As lawmakers prepare for another busy week in Washington, Sen. Todd Young is speaking to IN Focus to discuss the latest news in Congress and the growing fears over the Omicron variant in the U.S.

Though he says the new variant of COVID-19 is concerning, Sen. Young is telling Hoosiers not to overreact.

“[Hoosiers] should continue to follow the guidance of doctors and public health experts, as most Hoosiers are,” Sen. Young said.

While the Omicron variant spreads, Senators on Capitol Hill are getting ready to consider a key piece of President Biden’s agenda, the Build Back Better Act.

The bill totals around $2.2 trillion and makes investments in a wide range of areas, from childcare to combatting climate change. The bill’s price tag has been a contentious issue for months in Washington. Democrats in Congress say the bill gives crucial funding to the nation’s pandemic recovery, while Republicans say it’s another example of wasteful government spending. As the Senate prepares to take up the House-backed bill, the debate shows no signs of slowing down.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently spoke to IN Focus to discuss the plan’s incentives in producing clean energy. She believes that it will create many new economic opportunities and jobs, especially for the state of Indiana.

“We want to make sure that Indiana is putting people to work in building the products that reduce carbon pollution,” Granholm said. “The Build Back Better agenda would put 1.5 million people to work across the country.”

With no Republican support, the bill’s passage relies on all 50 Senate Democrats. However, that unity is in doubt with demands from Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Because of the negotiations, Sen. Young expects debate on the agenda to enter “next year, beyond the holiday.”

“I’m hopeful that [Build Back Better] in the end dies,” Sen. Young said. “It’s a trillion dollar plus tax-and-spend boondoggle that will advantage wealthy people from blue states.”

Sen. Young hopes that there will be a more bipartisan spending bill proposed in the future. Although he shares the administration’s priorities of expanding rural broadband access and increase jobs in green technology, Sen. Young says that those possible improvements for Indiana shouldn’t be grouped with other policies such as childcare.

“This is exactly why you need to have bipartisan legislation, not developed behind closed doors,” Sen. Young said. “We have an incredibly partisan effort by Senator Schumer and President Biden… and the American people, for the most part, have had enough.”