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Manchin warns Democrats not to back out of deal after voting for spending package

"We sure as hell don’t owe Joe Manchin anything now," Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said

Published: August 22, 2022 5:50pm

Updated: August 22, 2022 6:49pm

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday warned progressive Democrats against blocking measures to streamline the approval of new energy projects following his vote for the $740 billion spending package that included an array of tax and climate provisions for which they advocated.

“I’ve got the hard left right now saying, ‘Hell no, we’re not going to do anything now that makes it look like we’re helping Manchin,’” he said, per the Washington Times. “I said, ‘you’re not helping me, you’re helping yourself if you want to get anything built in America.’”

In late July, Manchin made headlines when he announced that he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had reached an agreement on key provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, a critical piece of the Biden administration's legislative agenda to which Manchin had previously expressed opposition.

The bill ultimately passed with the support of fellow moderate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., after the party dropped changes to the carried interest tax loophole to win her backing. In exchange for Manchin's support, however, Democrats promised a separate bill that would eliminate bureaucratic red tape impeding the approval of energy projects, especially in West Virginia, the Times noted.

House Democrats, however, argue that because they were not part of the deal between Schumer and Manchin, they aren't obligated to support its terms. "We sure as hell don’t owe Joe Manchin anything now," Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said, per the Times. “Democrats don’t owe anybody anything in return for passing the bill," Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., wrote.

Manchin, however, remained adamant that the terms he negotiated would be good for the country and warned Republicans as well against opposing the measure, which could risk a government shutdown.

“This is something the Republican Party has wanted for the last five to seven years I’ve been with them,” he said. “It either keeps the country open, or we shut down the government. That’ll happen Sept. 30, so let’s see how that politics plays out.”

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