Joe Manchin Refuses to Back Biden's Radical Climate Agenda
Democrats had hoped to pass sweeping legislation before midterms
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has told Joe Biden and the rest of their party that he won't support their radical climate agenda.
Democrats were hoping to pass sweeping bills ahead of the midterms that include provisions on climate, energy, and tax.
However, Manchin and his staff told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unequivocally Thursday that he will not back these measures.
According to a Democrat briefed on the conversations, the senator said he is only willing to support a reconciliation bill in August that includes a provision to lower prescription drug prices and a two-year extension of subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.
Manchin was explicit that he won't support a bill before the midterms with any provisions on energy and climate or increasing taxes on the wealthy.
His comments come despite his support for those specific things during months of negotiations.
Democrats had hoped to pass a sweeping package to tout during the midterms.
Schumer and Manchin have been negotiating the package for months.
The West Virginia moderate had previously said he would be amenable to climate language and tax increases on higher earners in a bill roughly half the size of the $2 trillion "social and environmental" bill Manchin single-handedly killed last December.
Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon said in a statement Thursday:
"Political headlines are of no value to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas as inflation soars to 9.1%.
"Senator Manchin believes it’s time for leaders to put political agendas aside, reevaluate and adjust to the economic realities the country faces to avoid taking steps that add fuel to the inflation fire."
Manchin's demands mean Democrats would probably only be able to produce a far smaller bill that would cut down on their radical spending agenda.
Previously, Democrats had removed other provisions amid negotiations with Manchin.
His vote is imperative for Democrats to be able to use the budget reconciliation process for the party-line bill.
The process only requires a majority vote rather than the 60-vote filibuster threshold.
Democrats have a slim 50-50 majority in the Senate (including 2 Independents who caucus with Democrats).
Vice President Kamala Harris has the tiebreaker.