Manchin Pulls Energy-Permitting Plan From Government Funding Bill




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-27 22:48:41Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- The Senate voted Tuesday to advance a stop-gap funding bill to keep the government running after Senator Joe Manchin dropped his bid to include a controversial energy permitting bill amid opposition from Republicans and some Democrats.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Germany Suspects Sabotage Hit Russia's Nord Stream Pipelines

  • Putin's Mobilization Hits Russia's Economy in Its Weak Spots

  • Everything-Selloff on Wall Street Deepens on 98% Recession Odds

  • US Housing Prices Fall for First Time Since 2012

  • Stocks Drop for Sixth Session as Rate Woes Persist: Markets Wrap

Shortly after the West Virginia Democrat asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to remove the permitting language, the Senate voted 72-23 on a procedural motion setting up likely passage Thursday of the legislation to continue funding federal operations through Dec. 16.

The House is poised to follow suit on Friday, just ahead of the deadline to avert a shutdown.

The stopgap measure also includes more than $12 billion for Ukraine to assist in its war with Russia, $1 billion for emergency home heating assistance, $2 billion for previous disasters and $2.5 billion for New Mexico wildfires. In addition, the bill would extend Food and Drug Administration user fees for five years, avoiding a threatened layoff and disruption of product testing.

Not included were any new funds to fight Covid-19 or monkeypox as requested by the White House.

Opposition to Manchin's plan to speed up approval of energy projects had threatened to stall passage of the funding bill. It was attached to the must-pass spending legislation as part of a bargain with Schumer and President Joe Biden in exchange for Manchin's crucial vote on a climate and tax package in August.

Manchin's decision to drop the language now leaves in limbo Equitrans Midstream Corp.'s stalled $6.6 billion Mountain Valley pipeline in his home state.

Republicans argued that the permitting provisions were just "political payback" to Manchin for his tax vote and they did not want to facilitate that deal. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said the Manchin proposal was a "poison pill" and "a phony attempt to address an important topic of permitting reform."

Progressives also opposed it. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who helped lead the fight against the Manchin bill, vowed to make sure any bill that helps fossil fuels stays dead.

"If we are talking about expediting clean energy products then sure," he said. "The last thing this world needs right now is any more fossil fuel projects."

Manchin blamed politics for his plan getting blocked and cited the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin's action to "weaponize energy" in waging his war against Ukraine.

"A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail," Manchin said in a statement. "For that reason and my firmly held belief that we should never come to the brink of a government shutdown over politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the permitting language" from the spending legislation.

The decision spells the end for now for an effort by Manchin to convince his colleagues to support compromise energy permit changes that he argued were key to US energy independence and transition to renewable sources.

Schumer said that he, Manchin and other senators "will continue to have conversations about the best way to ensure responsible permitting reform is passed before the end of the year."

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, said she would work with Manchin to try to negotiate a new version in the coming months that can get GOP support.

"The problem is that it was a one party proposal," she said. Capito is looking to include it in the annual defense policy bill coming to the Senate floor as soon as October. Yet any changes that please Republicans could lose Democratic votes.

Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said he talked with Capito and Manchin about forming a bipartisan group to get a permitting bill passed. But House approval is not assured. At least 72 Democrats have come out against the substance of Manchin's energy permit changes.

The remaining parts of the funding bill extend agency funding through Dec. 16, past the November midterm elections. The leaders of the appropriations committees have vowed to complete work on the 12 annual spending bills in the post-election lame duck period. That's a tall order because Congress has enacted none of the bills and if control changes hands in the midterms, there will be pressure on Republicans to postpone final bills until the new Congress is sworn in in January.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Mental Health Crisis Leads Hospitals to Create a New Type of ER

  • The Supreme Court Is About to Display Its Power Imbalance Again

  • As Home Prices Surge, Americans Are Moving to Cheaper Places

  • Google's Low-Tech Plan to Solve the Opioid Crisis

  • The Sneaky Genius of Apple's AirPods Empire

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Rivian, Warner Bros. Discovery to Be Added to Nasdaq 100
Rivian, Warner Bros. Discovery to Be Added to Nasdaq 100

(Bloomberg) -- Rivian Automotive Inc. and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. will be joining the Nasdaq 100 Index as part of its annual rebalancing, which adjusts...

US Probes FTX Founder for Fraud, Examines Cash Flows to Bahamas
US Probes FTX Founder for Fraud, Examines Cash Flows to Bahamas
  • US
  • 2022-12-10 00:55:14Z

(Bloomberg) -- US prosecutors, laying the groundwork for a potential fraud case against Sam Bankman-Fried and others involved in the collapse of...

US Lawmakers Want More Oversight of the Federal Reserve
US Lawmakers Want More Oversight of the Federal Reserve

(Bloomberg) -- An organizational loophole used by the Federal Reserve's 12 regional banks to avoid complying with transparency requests is under fire from...

Ex-JPMorgan Gold Trader Found Guilty in Spoofing Trial
Ex-JPMorgan Gold Trader Found Guilty in Spoofing Trial
  • US
  • 2022-12-09 18:08:51Z

(Bloomberg) -- Former JPMorgan Chase & Co. gold and silver trader Christopher Jordan was convicted of wire fraud affecting a financial institution by a...

EXPLAINER: What Sinema
EXPLAINER: What Sinema's switch means for the Senate

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's switch from Democrat to independent won't change the balance of power in the Senate. Sinema says she won't caucus with Senate ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business