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sen. Joe Manchin released legislative language on Wednesday to lighten the energy he wants to take in a government-approved funding bill, and now hopes enough Republicans and Democrats can support his plan he worked out earlier this year with the Majority Leader of the Democratic Party. Senate Chuck Schumer.
Schumer, DN.Y., told Manchin, TBEN.Va., that he would adopt the language of reform because Manchin agreed to vote for the Democrats’ Social Security Tax and Spending Act they passed in August. But it faces mounting bipartisan opposition from Republicans angry that Manchin helped Democrats pass the party tax and spending bill, and from progressives opposing new energy projects.
“It sounds like he’s going to lose Democrats and I think I heard someone say they can’t count more than nine Republicans,” Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Wednesday. “That math doesn’t work.”
SCHUMER, MANCHIN POWER ON ENERGY THAT ALLOWS VOTING WHEN THE OPPOSITION REACHES
sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said he’s fine with most of the bill, but vehemently opposes language aimed directly at the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that supports Manchin.
“Taking a project and saying it doesn’t need a permit, all permits are going to be in trouble, there is no judicial review and the removal of the fourth circuit because the company is not happy with the court in my hometown?” said Caine. “Not really.”
Kaine did not specifically answer questions about whether that provision would force him to vote against a financing bill.
The release of the language is likely to force senators who have been on the fence to support the bill to finally decide whether to accept the financing bill’s licensing reform. The level of support for Manchin’s legislation will likely determine how much the government will have to shut down in the coming week.
Congress must pass that law before the end of the month to avoid a partial shutdown of the government.
Democratic staffers familiar with the text said the bill is closely aligned with a bill proposed by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., proposed last week, and what Republicans have been gathering around for the past few days. However, Capito’s bill completely adopts some of the Trump-era regulations, while Manchin’s only partially does so.
SENATE WILL NOT ACT ON THE MARRIAGE OF THE HEAVEN OF THE GENDER UNTIL AFTER TIME
A provision in Manchin’s Clean Water Act bill would reduce several burdens that slow energy projects, the Democratic staff said. But it would also require developers to provide more information to state and tribal agencies about their projects.
Schumer reiterated Tuesday that the license reform will be incorporated into the financing law and that he is committed to adopting it. Manchin, meanwhile, denounced the GOP’s opposition to the deal as a “personal attack” against him.
“We’re going to vote and it’s coming in the CR,” Manchin said. “And if they’re willing to say, ‘We’re going to shut down the government because of a personal attack on me…’ This is what makes people sick of politics.”
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A Democratic aide who is familiar with the situation argued: “It will be very difficult for Rs to defend why they will vote against. ‘We’re not going to do Joe Manchin any favors’ is not a good explanation for Americans who have sky-high energy costs. “
The top Republicans lean towards Capito’s bill. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., predicted Thursday that Manchin’s bill on energy admission would be “weak” and reformed “in name only.”
sen. Kevin Cramer, RN.D., told TBEN News Digital on Wednesday that he hadn’t read the bill in its entirety, but “my feeling is it’s inadequate.” sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., also said she thinks it’s “inadequate.”
sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she supports the Capito Act and does not believe a rolling resolution is an idea to enable reform.
Jason Donner of TBEN News contributed to this report.