Late. Joe Manchin tore into Republicans and the liberal left for seeking ‘revenge’ against him by opposing his permissive reform plan as he announced that the final text of the bill will be released on Wednesday.
‘I have been involved for a long time in state politics and federal politics. “I’ve never seen stranger bedfellows than Bernie Sanders and the extreme liberal left aligning themselves with the Republican leadership,” the West Virginia Democrat said at a news conference Tuesday.
“What I’m hearing is that it’s like a politics of revenge,” Manchin said. ‘Basically revenge against one person – me. I think this is not about me.’
He specifically called out his Democratic colleague from Vermont: “Bernie has never supported anything about allowing reform,” Manchin said. He held up a piece of paper that had been passed around the room showing common timelines for energy and mineral projects around the world. In the US, it typically takes 5-10 years to get a permit; in Canada and Australia it only takes 1-3 years.
Late. Joe Manchin tore into Republicans and the liberal left for seeking ‘revenge’ against him by opposing his permit reform plan as he announced that the final text of the bill will be released on Wednesday
He specifically called out his Democratic colleague from Vermont: “Bernie has never supported anything about allowing reforms,” Manchin said
Manchin’s team handed out documents at the press conference showing the rise in fuel costs and the length of the US permitting process
“You basically look at states that have countries that have strong environmental oversight, one to three years. And then if you look at what’s happening now because of the energy crisis that we have in the Ukraine war, you have the E.U. [European Union] considering emergency bypass of all environmental assessments. And we don’t think we’re in a crisis. And we’re not going to do anything about it,’ Manchin snapped.
“The Republican leadership is upset, and they’re saying, ‘We’re not going to get the victory for Joe Manchin.’ Joe Manchin is not looking for victory. We have a good piece of legislation that is extremely balanced. I think it will show with time, he added. ‘How much suffering and how much pain are you going to inflict on the American people?’
Republicans have opposed Manchin’s bill to allow reforms before the text has even been released, and Sen. Shelley Capito, RW.Va., told Manchin it’s a ‘message bill.’ Others have expressed concern that they cannot vote for a bill they have not seen.
“They’re going to see it tomorrow,” Manchin said. ‘Which is probably a week before we vote.’
Manchin will release the text of his pipeline authorizing reform bill on Wednesday
But the main reason for their anger is that the endorsement deal was brokered for Schumer to pay Manchin back for his vote on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Manchin dropped his bombshell IRA vote only after enough Republican senators had voted with Democrats in favor of the $280 billion Chips Act.
“Given what Senator Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it’s] spawned a lot of bad blood,’ Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Politico. “There is not much sympathy on our part to give Senator Manchin a reward.”
“I will not vote for a resolution that is part of a political payback scheme,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said last week.
Republican senators, led by Capito, have released their own reform authorization bill, backed by nearly the entire caucus. Manchin argued that the bill was “pretty much in line with what we’re doing.”
‘Now [Republicans] going to say, “Well, I’m so sorry. It’s just not perfect enough and has Joe Mansion’s name on it,” for whatever reason. How do you go home and — I couldn’t even go home and explain it, Manchin said.
Manchin said the bill was necessary to bring down 8.3 percent inflation and rising energy costs.
‘If you wait for the Fed to raise interest rates that high, it discourages you from spending or buying anything [to decrease inflation]I’m not in that camp.’
The West Virginia Democrat argued that the bill would not ‘bypass’ any environmental assessments, but would simply ‘accelerate’ them. Asked what he would say to progressives worried about the environmental costs, Manchin replied: ‘What’s hurting right now is dirty fuel being produced around the world.’
He and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are pushing the Democratic version of the bill, attaching it to a continuing resolution to keep the government open, as Congress has just 10 days to act before government funding runs out at the end of the financial year on 30 September.
That bill is likely to fund the government through Dec. 16, though Republicans have said they will vote against any bill that doesn’t fund it through the start of the next Congress. If the funding only lasts through Dec. 16, Democrats will have another chance to craft a budget that includes their priorities before the next Congress, when Republicans potentially take back control.
The White House wants additional money for Covid-19 and Monkeypox added to the CR, while Schumer wants to add another $12 billion in aid to Ukraine, which would bring the total up to $60 billion.
Manchin’s pipeline legislation is expected to make it harder to oppose such projects under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, and could make changes to environmental laws by putting two-year time limits on project reviews. Early drafts of the legislation also sought to shorten the time the public can comment on project analysis and require the president to prioritize a list of 25 fossil fuel and mining projects.
The deal, which won White House approval, could offer fast approval for Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s stalled $6.6 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline.
Although construction of the 303-mile Mountain Valley pipeline is more than 90 percent complete, construction work stalled after a federal court denied a permit for a national forest crossing.
The bill would also give permitting authority to federal regulators for power line and transmission projects deemed to be in the national interest.