Manchin Pulls Plug on Climate Spending Plan

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By Paul Homewood

This is very significant news from the US:

WASHINGTON — Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, pulled the plug on Thursday on negotiations to salvage key pieces of President Biden’s agenda, informing his party’s leaders that he would not support funding for climate or energy programs or raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations.

The decision by Mr. Manchin, a conservative-leaning Democrat whose opposition has effectively stalled Mr. Biden’s economic package in the evenly divided Senate, dealt a devastating blow to his party’s efforts to enact a broad social safety net, climate and tax package.

In recent months, Democrats had slashed their ambitions for such a plan to win over Mr. Manchin, hoping that he would agree to support even a fraction of the sweeping initiative they once envisioned. His abrupt shift appeared to dash those aspirations.

In a meeting on Thursday with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, Mr. Manchin said he would support a package that would include a negotiated plan aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs and an extension of expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies set to lapse at the end of the year.

The shift capped off weeks of painstaking negotiations to cobble together a package that could win Mr. Manchin’s support. It came seven months after the West Virginian abruptly walked away from talks and rejected a far larger plan.

“Political headlines are of no value to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas as inflation soars to 9.1 percent,” said Sam Runyon, a spokeswoman for Mr. Manchin. “Senator Manchin believes it’s time for leaders to put political agendas aside, re-evaluate and adjust to the economic realities the country faces to avoid taking steps that add fuel to the inflation fire.”

Because Democrats hold the Senate by a bare 50-50 majority, Mr. Manchin has been able to effectively exercise veto power over the domestic policy package, which the party had planned to move under a special fast-track budget process that would allow it to bypass a filibuster and pass with a simple majority. With Democrats bracing for losses in midterm elections this fall, the package could be the party’s last chance to enact substantial spending and tax legislation while it still holds the White House and both houses of Congress.

In rejecting any climate and energy provisions, Mr. Manchin appeared to have single-handedly shattered Mr. Biden’s ambitious climate agenda and what would have been the largest single federal investment in American history toward addressing the toll of climate change.

As I have written before, this is the last chance for Biden to push his green agenda through Congress. The Democrats are certain to lose heavily in the mid-terms in November, and there will be zero chance after that.

Biden’s only other option is executive powers, but the Supreme Court has struck down the use of these to regulate emissions in power stations.

Unless the Democrats win back Congress in 2024 and win that Presidential election, both extremely unlikely with the US economy heading into recession and in a far worse state than even the UK’s, the emission cuts promised at COP26 by Biden will simply not happen and the Paris Agreement will effectively be dead in the water.

via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

JULY 15, 2022