SPRINGFIELD — For the third time in a month, groups have organized a rally outside the office of U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to push the Ways and Means Committee chairman on the Biden administration’s proposed $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

Neal, whose chairmanship makes him a key player on tax policy, has hesitated to commit to raising taxes on corporations, the method that President Joe Biden has proposed to fund the package.

The organizers of a rally today in Springfield say they want Neal to fight for full funding of the plan, and to use the process to end fossil fuel subsidies. The Berkshire Democratic Brigades, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, 350 Massachusetts Berkshire Node, Greylock Together, Progressive Democrats of America and Our Revolution are among the approximately 20 groups that will gather at 11 a.m. outside Neal’s Springfield office at 300 State St.

The package also has been cited as a possible mechanism for Democrats to expand Medicare and pass protections for workers’ right to organize. Through the budget reconciliation process, Democrats, who have narrow control of the House and Senate, can pass legislation without facing a filibuster.

Russell Freedman, the Massachusetts state director for Progressive Democrats of America, said the pressure on Neal is necessary because major investments through the bill can “show the people of the country that government can do good things, to improve our lives and deal with coming catastrophe.”

“Between the floods on the East Coast and the fires on the West Coast, we really need to make a dramatic change in our energy system,” Freedman said.

The federal government gives out about $15 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies, Oil Change International estimated in 2017. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar have introduced a bill, known as the End Polluter Welfare Act, to eliminate those tax breaks.

A September digital advertisement from Our Revolution highlights the $311,401 Neal received from the energy sector during the 2020 election cycle and calls on him to “stand up for Massachusetts voters, not ExxonMobil profits.”

The Ways and Means Committee began its markup of the package Thursday and will continue through this week, a Neal spokesperson said Thursday. While the committee has released information about the agenda for Thursday and Friday, “everything else is in flux,” the spokesperson said in an email.

The spokesperson did not comment on how Neal believes the package should be funded or whether he would support the push to end fossil fuel subsidies.

Freedman, who owns a bookstore in Lanesborough, said the Progressive Democrats of America have sent a letter to Neal every month for nearly a decade.

“We’ve asked Congressman Neal to do a lot of things over the years, and sometimes been successful, sometimes not been successful,” Freedman said. “But, we really think there’s a lot at stake, and we’re in a fortunate position for our congressman to have an opportunity to really make a difference that will affect our country, our planet, our species for a long time. We just hope that he’s able to stand up and be a leader in this.”

Danny Jin, a Report for America corps member, is The Eagle’s Statehouse news reporter. He can be reached at djin@berkshireeagle.com, @djinreports on Twitter and 413-496-6221.

Statehouse reporter

Danny Jin is the Eagle's Statehouse reporter. A graduate of Williams College, he previously interned at The Eagle and The Christian Science Monitor.