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Republicans introduce own permitting reform plan as Manchin deal with Dems unravels

"Since our calls for action and offers to see legislative text from the permitting 'deal' remain unheeded, Republicans are introducing this legislation today..."

Published: September 12, 2022 5:16pm

Updated: September 12, 2022 6:06pm

As Democrats appear poised to back out of a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to pass a permitting reform plan, Republicans have introduced their own version of the measure.

Fellow West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) is leading the charge for a legislative effort to streamline the approval process for energy projects, which would benefit such projects slated for construction in West Virginia, according to The Hill.

"Since our calls for action and offers to see legislative text from the permitting 'deal' remain unheeded, Republicans are introducing this legislation today to deliver solutions to the roadblocks, delays, and postponements of key infrastructure projects across the country," she said, per the outlet.

Manchin announced in late July that he had cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in which he would support the passage of the $740 billion spending package, dubbed the "Inflation Reduction Act," in exchange for a separate measure to streamline the approval of energy projects that would benefit West Virginia.

That deal now appears dead in the water, as over 70 House Democrats have announced their opposition to the plan, noting that they were not party to the initial agreement in the first place and were therefore under no obligation to honor Schumer's commitment.

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

Schumer himself has vowed to uphold his end of the bargain and to pass the measure as part of a continuing budget resolution, but it remains unclear if he can muster the votes in the upper chamber. The introduction of a separate Republican measure likely limits the prospect of crossover support for the Manchin-Schumer iteration of the plan.

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