Manchin, key Build Back Better holdout, huddles with top Republican on energy policy
S en. Joe Manchin, a key centrist Democrat who holds considerable influence over President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion social welfare and green energy legislation, met Tuesday with top Republican Mitch McConnell to discuss energy policy, among other things.
Manchin, who represents West Virginia and is the state’s former governor, huddled with McConnell, the Senate minority leader from neighboring Kentucky, as top Senate Democrats plot a pathway to pass Biden’s Build Back Better legislation by the end of the year.
Manchin opposes efforts by Democrats to include provisions aimed at ending fossil fuels. The Build Back Better legislation provides green energy tax breaks and imposes a methane fee that would hike energy prices.
Manchin told reporters following the 40-minute meeting that the two lawmakers “talked a lot about the area we represent, Kentucky and West Virginia, on some issues we all agree on. Energy is one of them.”
Senate Democrats need Manchin’s support to pass the legislation. The Senate is evenly split, and Democrats plan to use a budgetary tactic to skirt a GOP filibuster and pass the legislation with just Democratic votes and the tiebreaking power of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Manchin alone could sink the bill, which means he’ll play an outsize role in determining key provisions and the cost of the legislation.
Manchin also met with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, earlier this week. The two discussed Manchin’s concerns with the Build Back Better bill as Democrats grow increasingly frustrated the West Virginia senator is holding up the legislation.
Schumer insisted Senate Democrats are on course to pass the bill in the coming weeks, even though Manchin’s vote is not secure. Democrats must also win the approval of a second wavering centrist, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
“Before we hit Christmas Day, it is my goal to have the Senate take action to debate and pass President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation,” Schumer pledged on the Senate floor Tuesday.
Washington Examiner Videos