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Sen. Joe Manchin Meeting With Bipartisan Group on Climate Bill Like ‘Infrastructure’


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., met Monday with a bipartisan group of colleagues to discuss a climate bill he hopes will pass like the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law enacted earlier this year.

The moderate Democrat joined other moderates and progressives on Capitol Hill to try and produce a piece of bipartisan legislation that would be crafted the same way as the earlier infrastructure bill to deal with climate change and energy security, according to NBC News.

“Sens. Manchin and [Lisa] Murkowski, R-Alaska, organized a climate-focused meeting tonight in the Capitol with progressives and moderates,” NBC reporter Julie Tsirkin tweeted Monday. “Sen. Manchin told me after the meeting that he wants a bipartisan climate and energy security package, ‘like we did a bipartisan infrastructure bill.'”

“It’s urgent to find out if there is a pathway, if there is any way that we can find a pathway in a bipartisan, bicameral way,” Manchin told the reporter.

Other Senators at the meeting included, according to Tsirkin: Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Sen. Mark Kelley, D-Ariz.; Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.; and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who is the deputy whip for the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Sam Runyon, spokesperson for Manchin told The Hill the meeting was trying to “gauge” support for legislation to address climate change and energy security needs “head on.”

Another source told The Hill that other Republicans are involved in the talks.

Manchin is seeing if there is any will to get some measures involving climate change, which were part of the defeated $1.7 trillion “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation package that he effectively killed last year by withdrawing support from the legislation.

“The American people deserve transparency on the true cost of the Build Back Better Act,” Manchin said in a December 2021 statement explaining why he could not support the package. “The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office determined the cost is upwards of $4.5 trillion which is more than double what the bill’s ardent supporters have claimed. They continue to camouflage the real cost of the intent behind this bill.”

Although Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at the time the bill was not dead, promising a future Senate “vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act — and we will keep voting on it until we get something done,” Politico reported in February.

“There’s individual conversations happening, I think there will be more in March happening. It’s not the singular focus,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., No. 4 among Senate Democrats, told The Hill. “This is definitely part of our work on into the spring.”

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