Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday that a form of "political revenge" is in play by both the GOP and progressive caucuses opposing his energy permitting legislation, because he ended up voting for the Inflation Reduction Act earlier this year.
"I've been around for a long time in state politics and federal politics. I've never seen stranger bedfellows than Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and the extreme liberal left siding up with the Republican leadership," Manchin told reporters Tuesday. "I've never seen this happen. What I'm hearing is like it's revenge politics."
Manchin was referring to opposition from both sides of the aisle for his energy permitting bill, designed to quicken the time it takes to get energy and mineral projects approved and completed to deal with the current energy supply and costs.
His proposal is to be tied to a continuing resolution with a scheduled vote next week to keep the government funded.
Republicans, and even the progressive caucus have said they will not vote for either if they are attached.
"This is not about me," Manchin said. "This is about something Bernie has never approved of — permitting, reforms."
Manchin said that currently, it takes the United States "a minimum" of five to 10 years to issue permits, compared to other countries like Canada and Australia, with stricter environmental policies, that get the permits done in one to three years.
A Sept. 12 House Natural resources Committee letter, signed by 77 House members and several environmental organizations, said they opposed the proposal and its "dirty permitting provisions," and ask House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to separate the permitting bill from the spending resolution.
"I don't know how a CR vote will go if it includes the permitting rider, but the opposition is loud and only getting louder," Committee Chair Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said. "I encourage leadership to listen to its caucus and keep us out of a shutdown standoff that nobody wants. Give us a clean CR and let these dirty permitting provisions stand up to congressional scrutiny on their own. Now is not the time to roll the dice on a government shutdown."
Meanwhile, Republicans, still angered by Manchin reversing his promise to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act, said Monday night that they will oppose the measure.
"I don't think you can count on any Republicans to vote for something they haven't seen," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Politico. "Given what Sen. Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it's] engendered a lot of bad blood. There's not a lot of sympathy on our side to provide Sen. Manchin a reward."
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