Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) continues to play a pivotal make-or-break role for the Democrats in the Senate.
The Washington Examiner reports that Manchin just helped Senate Republicans to pass a resolution that has as its aim the cancelation of a key environmental policy of the Biden administration.
The policy at issue has to do with environmental reviews for infrastructure projects. Known as the National Environmental Policy Review Act (NEPA), its latest version was finalized by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality in April.
What the Biden administration’s version of NEPA would do is direct agencies to consider the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts that a project would have before allowing the project to proceed. This goes hand-in-hand with the left’s climate change agenda.
This version of NEPA stands in direct contrast to the policy adopted by the administration of former President Donald Trump. Trump reformed NEPA directing agencies, when conducting environmental reviews of projects, to only consider the “reasonably foreseeable” environmental impact of a project.
Just from these descriptions, one could guess the consequences that the different policies would have.
Whereas Trump’s policy would facilitate infrastructure projects, Biden’s policy only slows them down, virtually to a halt.
Manchin strikes again
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the Congressional Review Act, which essentially looks to stop NEPA in its tracks. The resolution was first introduced by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). Already, one hurdle has been passed – the U.S. Senate.
All 49 Senate Republicans who were present on Thursday voted for the resolution, as did Manchin. The final vote tally was 50 to 47. Except for Manchin, it went along party lines.
Now, the resolution will be headed for its second hurdle, the U.S. House of Representatives. With Democrats in control of the House, it is not likely to pass. But, in a sense, it doesn’t matter.
The reason it doesn’t matter is that the resolution’s last hurdle is President Joe Biden, himself. He would have to sign the resolution, which is not going to happen. And, the congressional support for the resolution is just not that overwhelming.
So, ultimately, Manchin’s vote on this one will not really count for much. Still, it cannot be overemphasized just how important Manchin’s vote is at the moment. A case-in-point is the quarter trillion dollar tax and spending deal that Manchin is helping the Democrats to pass.