What to Know in Washington: Biden Backs Manchin Bill Add to NDAA

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The White House says it supports an effort to attach previously stalled legislation to fast-track energy projects backed by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) onto a must-pass defense bill.

“The president believes we should pass the defensive authorization bill, and that the permitting bill should be included in that legislation, so that is something that we support from here,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday.

Her comments come amidst a last-minute push by Democratic leadership to add the energy-permitting legislation to the National Defense Authorization Act, according to people familiar with the effort.

Negotiations about attaching the legislation, which could speed approval of Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s stalled $6.6 billion Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline in Manchin’s home state, to the bill were ongoing at the leadership level and a final decision has yet to be made, the people said.

The annual defense policy bill is considered as must-pass because it authorizes pay increases as well as compensation for troops in harm’s way and is widely-supported by Republicans. It also sets personnel, weapons-buying and geopolitical policies. This year, the final compromise measure was negotiated behind closed doors by leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees as well as Senate and House leadership, Ari Natter and Roxana Tiron report.

The House has yet to introduce the massive defense authorization bill—which was expected on Monday—and now there’s questions whether they’d be able to do it Tuesday. Leaders are still wrangling over whether to include Manchin’s permitting bill, among other provisions. Some House progressives have vowed to block the underlying defense bill if the permitting measure was included, Tiron reports.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) at the Capitol on November 29.

Happening on the Hill


  • The House returns at 9 a.m. and will consider a veterans immigration bill, among other measures.
  • The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to vote on judicial nominations.

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Meta, Snap Defend Efforts to Deter Illegal Fentanyl Sales Online

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Meta Threatens to Drop News From Platforms If Measure Passes

Meta Platforms on Monday said it may remove news from Facebook and Instagram if Congress passes a bill that would empower smaller news outlets to negotiate compensation from tech companies.

Elections & Politics

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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said he expects that President Joe Biden will announce he’s running for re-election after the US Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

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Polls show Warnock with a slight lead over Walker, a former University of Georgia football star who was handpicked by former President Donald Trump. Neither of the two men reached the 50% threshold required to avoid the runoff in the Nov. 8 election, due in part, to a third-party candidate who won’t appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

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Giuliani Puts 2020 Election Back on Trial in DC Ethics Case

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White House Plans to Remain in Twitter’s ‘Rougher Neighborhood’

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Around the Administration


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Tim Cook, Biden to Help TSMC Unveil $40 Billion US Chip Buildout

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US Army Taps Bell Textron for Helicopter of the Future

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The US and European Union are weighing new tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum as part of a bid to fight carbon emissions and global overcapacity, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Interior to Expand Solar Development on Federal Lands in West

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Musk’s Neuralink Faces Animal Welfare Probe, Reuters Says

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Justice Samuel Alito made a quip about Black children wearing Ku Klux Klan outfits at the US Supreme Court Monday.

US Won’t Back 2022 Patent Waivers for Covid Tests and Treatments

The US won’t agree to waive intellectual-property protections for Covid-19 treatments and tests this year — aligning with developed-nation peers and damaging prospects for a World Trade Organization accord aimed at boosting global access to life-saving medicines.

With assistance from Roxana Tiron

To contact the reporters on this story: Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com; Andrew Small at asmall@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Small at asmall@bgov.com; Andrew Small at asmall@bgov.com

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