Revenge? Republicans weigh in on Manchin authorization plan

Sen. John Corny (R-Texas) said, “I don’t think you can count on Republicans to vote for something they haven’t seen.” But there’s another factor: Manchin’s deal with Majority Leader. chuck schumer to enact their centerpiece of domestic party-line politics this summer – allowing reform as a side deal, requiring votes from both parties to pass later.

“Given what Senator Manchin did on reconciliation invoice, [it’s] spawned a lot of bad blood,” Cornyn said. “There’s not a lot of sympathy on our side to offer a reward to Senator Manchin.”

The uncertainty around Manchin’s proposal is Hill’s central drama as Congress sprints to finish its job before the midterms. The Senate would first have to pass an interim spending bill to avoid an Oct. 1 shutdown, likely extending the government’s current funding until Dec. 16.

Aid from Ukraine is likely to be included, though the GOP is expected to block coronavirus and monkeypox funding from the measure. That leaves the main question whether Congress can approve Manchin’s proposal to accelerate construction of energy projects, including the Mountain Valley natural gas line in West Virginia.

Manchin warns Republicans that it would be “horrendous politics” for them to reject legislation that would accelerate both fossil fuel and clean energy projects.

“Something you’ve always wanted, and you get 80% of something, and you’re going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good?” Manchin said. “It’s a shame that politics trumps politics that we’ve all wanted for 10 or 12 years.”

Negotiators are still nowhere near a deal, making it highly unlikely that any bill will move this week, senior aides say. Without a deal in the coming days, both chambers could work through next week’s deadline, despite Democrats’ eagerness to avoid chaos in their final term before the midterm elections.

Democrats believe Republicans are getting revenge on Manchin and Democrats for crushing them this summer. The majority party adopted a microchip bill with bipartisan votes, then announced a deal between Manchin and Schumer that invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the fight against climate change, imposed a minimum corporate tax and extended expiring health care subsidies.

“I think they just don’t want to give a Democratic Senate or a Joe Manchin another win,” the senator said. Martin Heinrich (DN.M.).

Depending on how Democrats structure votes on the interim spending plan, Republicans may be able to block the addition of reform authorizing legislation. Democrats could play hardball and squeeze the authorization measure into the short-term spending bill just before the funding deadline, essentially challenging Republicans to vote to shut down government.

“Obviously there is flexibility there and they are trying to figure it out,” the House Majority Leader said. Steny Hoyer said of the Senate.

In the House, talks have stalled as Democrats await further details on Manchin’s proposal. A group of 70 mostly progressive House Democrats have threatened not to support the interim funding bill if the reforms allowing Manchin are included – although the House’s liberal arm, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has stopped threatening closure.

The temporary funding patch could include billions of dollars to help Ukraine maintain its momentum in the war against Russia, money to bolster the federal response to natural disasters, and a reduced renewal of the FDA’s ability to collect user fees that fund much of the agency’s work. , among others.

Chairman of House Credits Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said Monday evening that she had no new progress to report. When asked if she could unveil the text this week, she said, “I’m still hoping we can move on sooner rather than later.”

Schumer said over the weekend he plans to pursue at least $12 billion for Ukraine, slightly more than the Biden administration’s request for $11.7 billion. GOP senators, citing the country’s recent success in battling the Russian military, said they were willing to provide additional money.

“I think the most likely additional thing to be on the [continuing resolution] … would be Ukraine’s money,” the senator said. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), an appropriator who sits on the defense subcommittee.

The Biden administration has also requested more than $22 billion to meet emerging Covid needs and $4.5 billion to address the monkeypox outbreak. Republicans essentially rejected both demands.

President Joe Biden’s comment in a Sunday night interview that “the pandemic is over” also fueled GOP sentiment that pandemic recovery funds are not needed. At the same time, the administration said more money was essential to continue providing free vaccines, tests and treatment to the uninsured or underinsured.

“We need to look at the numbers and see how they would be used,” the senator said. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said of the White House request.

Biden also asked for more than $6 billion to respond to natural disasters, including funds that would go to red states like Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas. Additionally, Puerto Rico suffered devastating flooding and power outages from Hurricane Fiona, while an ongoing water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi has left hundreds of thousands of people without water. drinkable for months.

Once passed, the stopgap would buy weeks of time for talks on a broader deal that would boost agency budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The short-term funding measure needs 60 votes to pass the Senate.

And Republicans say if so, that might not include Manchin’s big licensing legislation. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the plan a “corrupt deal” among Democrats, while Sen. Roger Wicker put it this way: “I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere.”

Nancy Vu and Alice Miranda Ollstein contributed to this report.


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