Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., endured a politically rough day Tuesday.
First, a permitting reform bill that Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had agreed upon was excluded from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Manchin had pushed for energy-permit refoms, including speeding up environmental reviews, expediting priority fossil and renewable projects, beefing up transmission lines, and securing the approval of a natural gas pipeline in West Virginia.
But congressional negotiators on Tuesday reached an NDAA agreement that excludes Manchin's permitting reform legislation, the Washington Examiner reported.
Schumer had cut the deal with Manchin in exchange for support of President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.
Also Tuesday, Sen. Raphael Warnock's victory against Republican Herschel Walker in the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff was another triumph for the progressives in the Democratic Party.
Manchin, considered a moderate among an increasingly number of extremist Democrats, has been seen as "somewhat of a gatekeeper" in a 50-50 Senate, the Examiner reported.
Warnock's victory gives Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate. Manchin's vote, therefore, no longer carried the same weight as during the past two years.
Manchin's side deal with Schumer would have expedited the environmental review process of infrastructure and energy projects.
Last month, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the top-ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said there was "zero chance" of adding permitting reform to the NDAA, The Hill reported.
Manchin then tried to strike a deal in the lame-duck session. However, GOP members and liberal Democrats balked.
Republicans also knew Manchin's seat could be up for grabs in 2024. GOP strategists say they expect Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to spend millions in an effort to oust Manchin.
"Failing to pass bipartisan energy permitting reform that both Republicans and Democrats have called for will have long-term consequences for our energy independence," Manchin said in a statement tweeted on Tuesday night.
"The American people will pay the steepest price for Washington once again failing to put commonsense policy ahead of toxic tribal politics. That is why the American people hate politics in Washington."
Several lawmakers in both major parties have expressed interest in reforming the federal permitting process. So, it could be discussed in the next Congress.
Also, several conservative lawmakers have said they welcomed Manchin indicating the possibility of bipartisan entitlements reform in the next Congress.
Manchin suggested that lawmakers from both major parties might be able to find common ground on shoring up solvency for programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.