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Politics: Joe Manchin Supports First Step in $3.5T Infrastructure Bill, No Promises on Full Measure

Joe Manchin said in January he'd be okay with $4 trillion in infrastructure, but now he wants a lot less. Here's a full timeline of his price tags.

  Joe Manchin said in January he'd be okay with $4 trillion in infrastructure, but now he wants a lot less. Here's a full timeline of his price tags. Democrats are duking it out over how big the infrastructure bill should be. Key moderate Sen. Joe Manchin is fighting with himself from last winter.West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is a pivotal figure in the passage of any Democratic legislation right now. The party holds on to a razor-thin margin, and losing the moderate Democrat's support would doom much of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda.

Sen. Joe Manchin said he would vote for the budget resolution for the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill "out of respect for my colleagues." However, the moderate congressman stated that he wasn't "making any promises" about his plans to support the spending package in the fall, the Associated Press reported.

With GOP sidelined, Manchin steps up to defend fossil fuels

  With GOP sidelined, Manchin steps up to defend fossil fuels Climate hawks on and around Capitol Hill accustomed to seeing Republicans thwart their agenda have found a new roadblock in Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia. Environmentalists knew they would face challenges winning Manchin’s support for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that Democrats can pass only if all 50 of their senators […] The post With GOP sidelined, Manchin steps up to defend fossil fuels appeared first on Roll Call.

Joe Manchin sitting at a desk: Sen. Joe Manchin said he would back the budget of the infrastructure bill © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo Sen. Joe Manchin said he would back the budget of the infrastructure bill "out of respect for his colleagues." Manchin prepares to chair a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in this Aug. 5, 2021 photo.

A vote from every Democrat in the Senate, which is split 50-50 along party lines, as well as a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, would be needed for the budget's approval. This passage needs to happen before lawmakers can begin drafting a larger bill, likely in fall, that would detail tax and spending goals for the package, the Associated Press reported.

Joe Manchin won’t support a key climate program. Alternatives won’t be enough.

  Joe Manchin won’t support a key climate program. Alternatives won’t be enough. The clean electricity program is “the backbone of the energy transition,” experts say.According to the New York Times’ Coral Davenport, who first reported the news on Friday, Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, will not support the sweeping clean electricity program that is widely seen as the centerpiece of the bill’s climate plan.

While Manchin indicated that he intended to back the budget, he also pointed out that any climate change plans included in the follow-up bill would need the approval of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that he chairs. Manchin serves as senator for West Virginia, which has a reliance on energy production and mining, the Associated Press reported.

Joe Manchin's 'Good Friend,' Union Leader Cecil Roberts, Says Eliminating Fossil Fuels Is a Deal-Breaker

  Joe Manchin's 'Good Friend,' Union Leader Cecil Roberts, Says Eliminating Fossil Fuels Is a Deal-Breaker United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts stands by his friend Joe Manchin who seeks "innovation, not elimination" when it comes to fossil fuels.Part of the plan, the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), consists of a $150 billion program designed to increase the amount of clean energy distributed to consumers by 4 percent each year. Companies that complete this objective would receive financial incentives and those that fail would face financial penalties.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Progressives are passionate about the $3.5 trillion social and environmental package. Moderates strongly back the separate $1 trillion measure financing highway, water and other infrastructure projects.

Democrats of all stripes know that rejecting the budget would mark a quick derailment of Biden's defining domestic priorities, a stunning, self-inflicted political blow. Their broad support for the fiscal blueprint underscores that each of the party's two competing wings knows it needs the other's backing to enact its top priority.

Manchin Opposes $150B Clean Energy Program in Biden's Spending Bill, Says Not Necessary

  Manchin Opposes $150B Clean Energy Program in Biden's Spending Bill, Says Not Necessary Democrats have argued that the funding is needed to help speed up the process of transitioning towards clean energy alternatives.The Democrat from West Virginia said on CNN that the funding is not needed because the nation is already moving away from fossil fuel dependency at a quick enough rate.

Asked if his party's factions faced the political version of "mutually assured destruction," liberal Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, said, "I think it's a mutually assured improvement situation for the American people, if we can pull it off." The Cold War tenet helped prevent the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. from launching nuclear weapons at each other.

The Democrats' rallying behind the budget also illustrates another calculation: They know the battle that counts most will come in autumn.

That's when, with almost no margin for error, they'll try translating the budget's broad guidelines into the expansive, $3.5 trillion, 10-year package of specific spending and tax provisions. Besides the evenly divided Senate, Democrats narrowly running the 435-member House will be able to lose no more than three votes to prevail.

Significantly, budget passage would let Democrats move that huge follow-up bill through the Senate by a simple majority, circumventing a Republican filibuster that would require 60 votes to overcome. The budget itself cannot be filibustered.

Video of Joe Manchin Telling Bernie Sanders 'Never Give Up' Viewed Over 123,000 Times

  Video of Joe Manchin Telling Bernie Sanders 'Never Give Up' Viewed Over 123,000 Times The two senators are haggling over climate change initiatives in Biden's Build Back Better plan. But the plan cannot succeed without either man's vote.Video captured Manchin and Sanders walking together from the Capitol building on Monday evening. After asking reporters to take photos of the two men, Manchin then put his arm around Sanders.

It's unclear when the House will take up the budget.


Video: Clyburn hopeful Manchin will see wisdom of filibuster carve-out for voting rights (MSNBC)

Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, this week made the progressives' case for the budget blueprint he helped craft.

He said it was time to help working-and middle-class people, "needs that have been neglected for decades." He said the measure's initiatives would be paid for by ending the "obscenity" of allowing some rich people to escape paying federal income tax, boosting levies on the wealthy and on big corporations.

He mocked space-traveling billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson without naming them, saying they seem "increasingly unconcerned about what happens here on Earth because they're off in outer space."

And in what seemed a plea for pragmatism by his fellow progressives, Sanders acknowledged that the measure falls short of some of his personal goals but would be "a major step forward."

Sanders has said his budget's proposals will include an extension of the recently expanded child tax credit; free pre-kindergarten and community college; new dental, eye and hearing benefits under Medicare; bolstered housing and home health care and efforts to fight climate change by encouraging clean energy.

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Manchin, Tester voice opposition to carbon tax

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Manchin, Tester voice opposition to carbon tax Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Today we're looking at some opposition to a carbon tax from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and John Tester (Mont.), Manchin's seeming desire to get to a deal soon and a relatively quiet hearing for nominees at the National Park Service, FERC and the Energy Department. For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: [email protected] and [email protected] Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.Let's jump in.

Another influential progressive and former presidential contender, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is also taking a conciliatory approach.

"No one's going to get everything they want," she said this week. "But we Democrats are all rowing in the same direction."

Also flashing a green light — for now — is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a moderate who helped write the bipartisan infrastructure compromise.

"While I support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion," she said. Her statement suggested she'd back the budget and was leaving herself flexibility to fight later about spending amounts.

"This starts the process," said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a moderate who helped craft the bipartisan infrastructure bill and is an influential voice on Sanders' Budget Committee. While he said he had no guarantees about how moderates would vote on the budget, Warner said hopes that the U.S. might curb the pandemic make it time for "a fresh debate about what the social contract ought to look like in this country."

Even so, signs of a fall clash between moderate and progressive Democrats' priorities are unmistakable.

From across the party's ideological divide, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., says there will be "more than enough" progressive votes to block the current infrastructure bill in the House until liberals get the investments they want in the separate $3.5 trillion package.

Joe Manchin Calls Report of Him Leaving Democratic Party 'Bulls**t'

  Joe Manchin Calls Report of Him Leaving Democratic Party 'Bulls**t' Senator Joe Manchin, who has been central to negotiations over President Joe Biden's agenda, said he had no control of "rumors.""It's bull***t," Manchin told reporters at the Capitol just after the Mother Jones report appeared online.

Ocasio-Cortez spoke last weekend on CNN's "State of the Union."

Bernie Sanders et al. looking at a cell phone: In this July 21, 2021 photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks to reporters as he walks to the senate chamber ahead of a test vote scheduled by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York on the bipartisan infrastructure deal on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo © Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo In this July 21, 2021 photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks to reporters as he walks to the senate chamber ahead of a test vote scheduled by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York on the bipartisan infrastructure deal on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

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Joe Manchin Calls Report of Him Leaving Democratic Party 'Bulls**t' .
Senator Joe Manchin, who has been central to negotiations over President Joe Biden's agenda, said he had no control of "rumors.""It's bull***t," Manchin told reporters at the Capitol just after the Mother Jones report appeared online.

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