Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) seemed pretty confident on Tuesday that his agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would make its way into the continuing resolution (CR). In return for Manchin having signed on to support the misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act," Schumer promised he'd get permitting reform, which includes pipelines. While Schumer has appeared to double down on keeping that promise, it may not be enough.
On Thursday morning The Hill published a piece highlighting how "Schumer in tough spot over Manchin promise." As has been covered in recent weeks, some fellow Democratic lawmakers are opposed to the plan, including Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, as well as Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).
This most recent report also mentions how 650 environmental groups have written a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was also part of the negotiations with Manchin, expressing their displeasure.
And here's the kicker, with added emphasis:
Schumer made clear Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to backtrack on his promise.
“Permitting reform is part of the IRA and we will get it done,” Schumer said Wednesday. “Our intention is to add it to the CR.”
But that plan is running into opposition from progressive House Democrats and outside environmental groups. There’s also a chance that several Senate Democrats may balk at the deal with Manchin, now that they no longer need his vote to pass a budget reconciliation bill.
Even those fellow Democrats not necessarily opposed are still confused by it, which includes Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). "'Are we helping to solve the climate problem?' is the question," he's quoted as saying. "I don’t even know what the permitting reform is."
Republicans aren't too thrilled either, with some saying it doesn't go far enough. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is also mentioned for opposing it, as he sees it as part of a "political payback scheme."
While Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said he'll "certainly keep an open mind," he also would be "surprised" if Manchin "gets what was promised."
In that case, again, the point about Manchin no longer being needed, with his fellow Democrats having effectively screwed him over, becomes increasingly relevant.
There was also some chatter about tying this to legislation to codify same-sex marriage, which the House passed in July in reaction to a solo concurring opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas in the Dobbs v. Jackson case. Schumer prefers for them to be separate, though.
CNN's Manu Raju also tweeted on Thursday morning that that bill "will happen on the Senate floor in the coming weeks," and it's merely a "goal" for it to take place before the upcoming November midterms.
“A vote on marriage equality will happen on the Senate floor in the coming weeks,” Schumer said. It’s still unclear if the vote will happen before the midterms, but top Dems say it’s their “goal” for a pre-November vote— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 8, 2022
The CR must pass by September 30 in order to avoid a government shutdown. Punchbowl News' John Bresnahan tweeted on Tuesday that Manchin may release his bill "as soon as this week."
.@Sen_JoeManchin is very clear that he expects his permitting reform bill the CR. He will release his bill as soon as this week— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) September 6, 2022