Dems threaten Pelosi with government shut down over party’s energy concessions to Manchin

Democrats are threatening a government shutdown if Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) does not back out of a compromise with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) that would ease environmental regulations in return for his support for the party’s massive climate change bill.

More than 70 House Democrats wrote a letter to Pelosi expressing their concerns, Newsweek reported.

Dems threaten Pelosi

Manchin took many by surprise when he reversed course this summer and decided to back a downsized version of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda called the Inflation Reduction Act.

Democrats have touted the law as a historic investment in fighting climate change, but many in the party are clearly unhappy with the compromise that led the way to a deal.

Dozens of Democrats complained in a letter to Pelosi that the agreement of party leaders to include provisions expediting oil and gas drilling in a government funding resolution would “disproportionately impact low-income communities, indigenous communities, and communities of color.”

“The inclusion of these provisions in a continuing resolution, or any other must-pass legislation, would silence the voices of frontline and environmental justice communities by insulating them from scrutiny,” the letter said.

The deal would force lawmakers to choose between “further pollution or funding the government,” the letter, which cited “existential threats like climate change and MAGA extremism,” said. The government is set to close on September 30 if Congress doesn’t pass a continuing resolution (CR.)

Progressives

The permitting reforms would facilitate the completion of a 300-mile natural gas pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, that Manchin supports, and which is opposed by the left.

Manchin has touted the project as the only one in the country “that can bring 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day onto the market in just six months.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed last week that he would include the permitting reforms in a stopgap spending bill, as a concession to Manchin.

Progressive Democrats are clearly anxious to avoid taking responsibility for the deal, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) saying Democrats owe Manchin “nothing now” despite his critical support in passing Biden’s climate law.

“We will be united in defeating the separate Manchin ‘permitting reforms’ that will accelerate climate change and pollute Black, brown, Indigenous and low-income communities,” she said.

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