Manchin says leadership pledged permitting reform in stopgap funding bill
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Wednesday that Democratic leadership told him the permitting reform he has pushed for will be included in a government funding measure known as a continuing resolution.
“Permitting is in,” he said.
Asked Wednesday whether he was told by leadership that the reforms would be included in the funding measure, he answered affirmatively.
The Senate swing vote has pushed for legislation that would speed up the process for approving energy and infrastructure projects. When Manchin announced his support for the Democrats’ climate, tax and health care bill, he and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement that they would separately pass a deal to reform the permitting process for these projects as part of the deal.
But the push has come under fire from progressives, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who have raised concerns about the potential for undermining environmental reviews and helping the fossil fuel industry.
Grijalva, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, has circulated a letter asking leadership to separate the Manchin deal out of the continuing resolution.
His office told The Hill last week that they had more than 40 signatories so far and were still circulating at that time.
He has argued that these measures are largely ones that are supported by Republicans and shared concerns with environmentalists that expedited reviews could harm vulnerable groups.
However, it’s not clear whether or how many progressives would vote against a measure to fund the government, as Democrats would be unlikely to want a government shutdown ahead of the midterms.
Asked about the progressive resistance, Manchin said, “I think people need to see what’s inside and how much good it does for the country.”
A summary released by Manchin’s office said that the reforms will set maximum timelines for environmental reviews and complete a pipeline that runs through West Virginia.