West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has defended climate and health legislation signed by Democrats, who they hope will criticize it in a speech Saturday night by Sen. Bernie Sanders Later, it is hoped that it will pass on Sunday.
Mr. Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, spoke in the Senate and criticized the legislation, calling it a “so-called inflation reduction bill” because the Congressional Budget Office said it would not do much to combat price increases.
“By the way, I say so-called because, according to the Congressional Budget Office and other economic organizations, this bill actually has minimal impact on inflation,” he said in a speech. Mr. Sanders spoke as he wanted to add amendments during a “vote on” in the Senate when multiple amendments will be voted on.
In response, multiple Republicans have highlighted Mr. Sanders’ criticism that it has had little impact on lowering inflation, even promoting it on the Republican National Committee’s research Twitter account.
Democrats hope to pass the legislation through a process called budget reconciliation, which allows Democrats to pass it with a simple majority because they only have 50 Senate seats. Vice President Kamala Harris will break the tie.
But when asked, Mr Manchin defended the legislation independent Criticism of Mr. Sanders.
“It’s not Bernie’s bill. I get it,” he said. “But it’s a huge piece of legislation and it’s very balanced. I think hopefully they can do it in a positive way.”
Mr. Sanders was particularly critical of the fact that the legislation would allow lease sales of drilling wells in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, among other provisions he deemed a “gift” to the fossil fuel industry.
“Under this legislation, up to 60 million acres of public waters must be sold annually to the oil and gas industry before the federal government approves any new offshore wind development,” he said.
Mr. Manchin defended the rules, saying how Mr. Sanders was against fossil fuels.
“I know one thing we have to have fossils for the next decade or as we transition,” Mr Manchin said. “Whenever that happens, but the bottom line is you have to have the energy we need to run the country, and most importantly, you have to invest in new energy that will get us on the right track, that’s what we’re all about.” . It’s a balanced approach. “