Joe Manchin’s “Strategic” Paws: Will They Choke Biden’s Climate Plans?

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Joe Manchin’s “Strategic” Paws: Will They Choke Biden’s Climate Plans?

Joel Stronberg, Esq.
By Joel Stronberg, Esq. and 09/22/21

Franklin Roosevelt is remembered for the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson the Great Society. What will Joe Biden be remembered for? It likely depends on the fate of two pieces of legislation that encompass nearly the entirety of his once-in-a-generation agenda, including infrastructure, climate, voter rights, higher taxes for the wealthy, equal justice for people of color and low incomes, healthcare, and greater assistance for low-income families and children.

Should Biden’s agenda emerge from Congress relatively unscathed, it will mark a generational change in how the federal government is viewed and what’s expected of it. It would be a change evocative of the New Deal and the Great Society.

Standing between President Biden and his date with history are a pace of conservative congressional Democrats—the most prominent of whom is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D).

Manchin is calling for a strategic pause in Democratic efforts to rush through a multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation bill to have it on the President’s desk within weeks. The climate-related provisions of the reconciliation bill, together with those in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure program passed by the Senate in August and awaiting House action, would be the most comprehensive package of integrated energy and environmental policies and programs in US history.

What does Manchin hope to accomplish by pausing the dash to reconciliation? In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, he explains:

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