Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) agreed to one piece of legislation with the promise of an important provision in another. Now it seems his own party has double-crossed him.
Over 70 Democrats signed on to a letter urging party leaders not to honor a deal with Manchin for a permitting reform package for energy projects, The Hill reported. Manchin was supposed to receive the concession by October in exchange for his vote on earlier legislation.
Last month, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act. It was passed because of Manchin's cooperation based on the promise that a government funding bill would include his permit reforms.
At the time, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the deal as the linchpin to getting it done. However, it seems Democrats, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), will make sure Manchin won't get what he was promised.
"The inclusion of these provisions in a continuing resolution, or any other must-pass legislation, would silence the voices of frontline and environmental justice communities by insulating them from scrutiny," the group of lawmakers claimed. "We urge you to ensure that these provisions are kept out of a continuing resolution or any other must-pass legislation this year."
This deal is tied to a funding bill that will cause a government shutdown without it passing. Coupled with the fact that so many Democratic lawmakers have signed on, it appears Manchin will not get what he was promised.
Manchin has thwarted his own party's pet causes by opposing them on at least five different issues. His refusal to play nice with the rest of his party is no doubt due to worries about his own political future with his constituents but it may backfire.
Democrats often make promises to Republicans while attempting to reach across the aisle but unceremoniously break them shortly thereafter. However, it's quite a different thing to watch it happening to one of their own.