Manchin working on ‘adjustments’ to energy policies in Biden spending plan

Julia Nikhinson

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Tuesday that he is working on “adjustments” to energy policies included in President Biden’s climate and social spending bill as Senate Democrats haggle over the legislation.

Manchin, who is a key vote on the spending bill, met on Tuesday with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to discuss the legislation, which Manchin hasn’t yet committed to supporting.

“The different energy stuff is what we mostly talked about. Just basically looking at different things that we agree [on] and adjustments that need to be made,” Manchin told reporters after the meeting.

Asked if he and Schumer are in agreement on what changes needed to be made, Manchin added, “We’re working on those.”

Manchin declined to say what specific policies he and Schumer discussed during the meeting, which lasted roughly 45 minutes.

Manchin has raised concerns about a plan to include a methane emission fee in the bill, as well as a plan to provide a larger tax credit to union made electric vehicles. Democrats already cut a problem meant to incentivize a transition to clean energy because of Manchin’s opposition.

Asked if those two things were discussed, Manchin added that they talked about a “little bit of everything.”

The one-one-one meeting comes as Schumer wants to pass the Build Back Better legislation in the Senate by the end of the year.

But to bring the bill up for debate and pass it he’ll need total unity among all 50 Senate Democrats, something he doesn’t yet have.

Manchin declined to say as recently as this week if he would vote to bring the bill up for debate and reiterated that he’s concerned about inflation and high gas prices.

The dragged out negotiations to try to win over Manchin and other key holdouts has at times exasperated his Democratic colleagues.

“I mean god bless Joe Manchin but how many months does this go on? I told him a month ago, ‘For god sake Joe, declare victory and close the deal,’” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters on Tuesday.

Tags Build Back Better Chuck Schumer Climate change Dick Durbin Joe Biden Joe Manchin

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