HomePoliticsManchin rejects climate and energy provisions in reconciliation bill

Manchin rejects climate and energy provisions in reconciliation bill


West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has dealt a blow to President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, telling Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he will only support a reconciliation bill that lowers fuel prices. prescription drugs and extend subsidies for the nation’s health care law, Affordable Care. Law, according to a Democrat briefed on the talks.

Manchin told Schumer that he cannot support a bill this August that contains the climate or energy provisions the president is seeking.

Without those climate provisions, and coupled with the recent Supreme Court ruling limit the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions: It will be difficult, if not impossible, for the Biden administration to meet its climate goals. Biden had promised, by 2030, to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions 50% to 52% below 2005 levels. A study this week by the Rhodium Group found that the US is in on track to reduce emissions 24% to 35% below 2005 levels by 2030, in the absence of further policy action.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden from Oregon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee who helped write part of the bill, said in a statement that he could not “disguise” his “disappointment” at the news.

“This is our last chance to prevent the most catastrophic and costly effects of climate change,” Wyden wrote. “We cannot go back in another decade and prevent hundreds of billions, if not trillions, in economic damage and undo the inevitable human cost.”

Dr. Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental policy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who provided guidance to congressional Democrats on environmental legislation, responded with a scathing statement that read in part:

“Senator Manchin has doomed his own grandchildren to a broken planet. His actions will be recorded in the fossil record for centuries to come. What sounds like hyperbole is sadly fact. We cannot achieve our climate goals without action.” congressional”.

Meanwhile, Manchin also said he won’t support provisions to close tax loopholes being exploited by wealthier Americans and corporations to raise revenue that would help extend the solvency of Medicare, which will only be able to pay full benefits through 2028 if nothing is. done. washington post first reported Manchin’s decision.

Late last year, Manchin, worried about rising inflation and debt, dashed the hopes of progressives and the president when he announced that he could not support Biden’s Build Back Better Act, the $1.75 Trillion Tax and Spending Plan that included key domestic policy initiatives from Democrats, including climate change, health care, paid leave, housing and taxes.

For several weeks, however, the West Virginia senator has been negotiating with Schumer on a more limited package that would require Medicare to negotiate drug prices, limit out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries and increase subsidies for drug premiums. some low-cost drugs. income Americans.

Democrats have been working on legislation that could pass in August, which is when many states announce ACA health insurance premium increases.

The bill cannot be passed without Manchin’s support. Although it only requires 51 votes under Senate rules governing budget reconciliation bills, there are only 50 Democrats in the Senate, plus Vice President Kamala Harris, who has the tiebreaker vote. No Republicans will vote for the measure.

Schumer has not yet said how he plans to proceed, whether he will proceed with a bill that will lower prescription drug prices and extend ACA health insurance subsidies for two years, as Americans face skyrocketing costs for just about everything else. , or withdraw the bill because it doesn’t contain the climate and tax provisions the president and progressives want.



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