What to Know in Washington: Manchin Seeks Reluctant GOP Votes

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is still campaigning for votes on his plan to fast-track energy projects, while expressing confidence he’ll win enough bipartisan backing to pass the permitting legislation.

Manchin (W.Va.), speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” appealed to Republicans and Democrats to align behind his measure, which seeks to speed up the approval process for both fossil-fuel and clean-energy projects.

“This is a chance in a lifetime for us to have energy independence” and security, “while making sure we take care of American people with lower energy prices, producing more oil, producing more gas,” Manchin said. “We have to have permitting reform if you’re going to deliver it.”

Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg
Manchin speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised to include the permitting proposal in must-pass government funding legislation set for a vote this week as part of a deal securing Manchin’s support for President Joe Biden’s climate, health and spending bill that passed on a party-line vote in August.

While Manchin’s bill has won the backing of his fellow West Virginian, Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, other Republicans have been wary of lending their support since it was critical to greasing the Inflation Reduction Act they opposed.

Read More: Manchin Coming Up Short on GOP Support for Energy Permit Bill

Manchin on Sunday implored Republicans to put that aside and embrace permitting changes they’ve long sought. “This is not about me,” and “this is not about the previous legislation,” he said.

“This is the most important thing that we can do today, and it’s the most critical problem we have in front of us, which is energy independence and security,” Manchin said. “It would be basically a lost moment in history if we don’t do this.”

Manchin expressed confidence he had “overwhelming” support from Democrats in the Senate and the House, despite intense opposition from progressives in the party. Some 80 House Democrats have urged party leaders to keep the permitting measure separate from the government spending bill. Read more from Jennifer A. Dlouhy.

Happening on the Hill


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  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a briefing at 1:30 p.m.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com