After months of negotiations, bipartisan energy and climate talks are dead. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) walked away with no legislation after over six weeks of discussions.
According to Republicans, there was little progress made to come to agreements. As a result, they said that the legislation wouldn’t pass the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. Instead, Manchin will push for energy and environmental provisions in reconciliation, according to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
The oil and gas crisis hasn’t lent its hand to a recovery that anyone expected, and added energy and environmental policies will hinder progress even more.
Democrats don’t need Republicans to pass a reconciliation package, so Manchin’s talks with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will likely be the path forward.
Manchin has also been at odds with his own party and has paved a path forward on his own with the help of Krysten Sinema (D-AZ). They’ve both opposed many of President Joe Biden’s proposed spending bills.
When Biden was pushing for Build Back Better, Manchin wasn’t on board. Instead, Manchin said, “These major social changes should go through the process. Then if you think you need reconciliation, because you got a great piece of legislation, but people are playing politics with it, that’s another. We’ve never even had that yet.”
Democrats said that Republicans’ “Big Oil wish list” was off the table because it pushed for more energy production of all types. Even with Democrats voting for energy and environmental legislation, there’s no guarantee that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will be on board. Democrats need 49 other Senators in order to get anything passed.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told Axios, “These talks had been a long shot, to begin with. Manchin informed us in the last meeting that reconciliation is probably the route he’s going down.”
Cramer also said, “Reconciliation doesn’t allow us to do the policy changes that are really essential to meeting the demands of energy, not just in the United States, but also in Europe.”
A spokesperson for Manchin said, “Sen. Manchin continues to work with his bipartisan colleagues to find solutions that address our nation’s climate and energy security needs.”
Democrats also felt that Republicans wouldn’t be on board with the corporate tax increases that Manchin wanted. Manchin wanted the tax increases to reduce the deficit and fund green energy tax credits.
This is the same type of top-down inflation that will ultimately hurt American families and contribute to inflation.