House Democrats moving to torpedo Schumer’s deal with Manchin

Source: Hot Air

Earlier this year, both Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were trumpeting their victory in getting the Democrats’ massive climate and tax hike bill passed into law. They were desperate for some sort of “win” to point to heading into the midterms and the opportunity to stop the collapse of Joe Biden’s approval numbers. But that deal came with a price tag. They had to agree to approve Joe Manchin’s bill allowing more oil and gas drilling permits as well as approval of a pipeline he wants, running from West Virginia to Virginia. That is supposed to happen as part of the “must-pass” stopgap spending bill scheduled for a vote this month. But now a revolt has broken out in the House, with an Arizona Democrat submitting a letter saying that Manchin’s bill needs to be dropped. And he’s gotten more than 70 House Democrats to sign onto his plan. This is going to leave both Pelosi and Schumer in a very precarious position. (Fox News)

Nearly a third of House Democrats warned Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday against tying this month’s must-pass government funding bill to legislation spurring oil and gas drilling that is desired by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Seventy-one House Democrats penned a letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., warning that the bill’s inclusion will force them to seriously consider voting against the short-term government funding measure, known as a continuing resolution.

“In the face of the existential threats like climate change and MAGA extremism, House and Senate leadership has a greater responsibility than ever to avoid risking a government shutdown by jamming divisive policy riders into a must-pass continuing resolution,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat who spearheaded the letter. “Permitting reform hurts already-overburdened communities, puts polluters on an even faster track, and divides the caucus.”

Schumer still plans to include Manchin’s bill in the spending package. And while some members of his caucus clearly aren’t thrilled, there isn’t much public refusal to play along. But that’s not the case in the House. Nancy Pelosi was looped in on the original deal when Schumer struck it, but the progressive Democrats on the House side are now claiming that they owe Manchin “nothing” and they’re going to derail the effort.

If the progressive Democrats manage to pull this off, one or both of two things will happen. The first is that the spending bill will be in danger of failing and we could be on the way to a government shutdown right before the election. The Democrats will try, but they won’t be able to pin this one on the GOP. The Republicans are unhappy with Manchin (more on that in a moment), but they are prepared to provide the needed votes to keep the government open. Pelosi and Schumer will own this shutdown if it happens.

The deeper implication of such a turn of events will likely be the total inability of any deals to be struck in the future. The Democrats got their climate and tax bill, but only with the understanding that Manchin’s bill would go through. If they renege on that promise now, why would anyone in the GOP ever believe either Schumer or Pelosi again in the future? Their promises won’t be worth the paper they’re not printed on.

Perhaps the biggest loser in all of this will be Joe Manchin himself. He was being humorously referred to as “President Manchin” for quite a while, holding the position of deal-maker or breaker in the upper chamber. He gained the support of many of his Republican colleagues for putting the brakes on many of the Democrats’ worst impulses. At the same time, Democrats were afraid to offend him for fear of losing his vote on the next divisive issue to come down the pike.

But the aftermath of this debacle may leave Joe Manchin as a man without a country in Washington. The GOP is angry at him for caving and allowing the climate bill to pass. And now his own party is in open revolt against him both for siding with the Republicans and pushing a bill that they see as damaging to their climate agenda. The icing on the cake would be if Manchin has to drag himself back to West Virginia without the pipeline he promised his constituents and nothing to show for the huge gift he gave to the liberals. Joe Manchin is looking awfully lonely on his island at the moment, and if it leads to a government shutdown, many will be pointing the finger at him over that as well.