Democratic senator questions why Manchin is chairman of Natural Resources panel
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said Friday he is questioning why Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after Manchin refused to back climate provisions in a Democratic budget reconciliation package.
“We have an opportunity to address the climate crisis right now. Senator Manchin’s refusal to act is infuriating,” Heinrich wrote on Twitter.
“It makes me question why he’s Chair of ENR,” he added.
Manchin’s unwillingness to support the provisions will likely prevent any major climate legislation from being passed before the midterm elections this year.
The West Virginia Democrat informed Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday that while he is willing to support a narrow budget reconciliation package lowering prescription drug prices and extending expiring health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, he will not back the bill before Labor Day if it includes climate provisions or tax increases on corporations or wealthy individuals.
“We know what we can pass is basically the drug pricing, OK, on Medicare,” Manchin said on Wednesday. “Is there any more we can do? I don’t know, but I am very, very cautious.”
Heinrich maintained Friday that it is vital to immediately take climate action.
“This is THE moment to meet the challenges that we will be judged by — by our children, grandchildren and future generations. We can’t wait any longer,” he wrote.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) backed Heinrich’s statement shortly after it was posted, responding in a tweet: “Courage. Thank you for saying this Sen. @MartinHeinrich.”
Updated at 12:35 p.m.
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