Vulnerable Dems could derail Manchin-Schumer bill: report

After Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) cushy arrangement with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to secure his vote on the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, vulnerable House Democrats may be bucking for similar deals as their long-held reluctance on “Build Back Better” made a resurgence.

With the help of a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, the nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in spending has moved to a vote in the House and the massive spending package is just as concerning to Democrats representing energy-rich districts as President Joe Biden’s initial green agenda behemoth. Not only does the new act allocate roughly half of its spending to pushing the transition to “clean energy,” but the lingering Methane Emissions Charge could prove problematic, as reported by the Texas Tribune.

Ahead of a House vote on the “Build Back Better” legislation, concerned Texas Democrat representatives penned a letter to their leaders, Reps. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Steny Hoyer (Md.) and James Clyburn (S.C.) vocalizing their opposition to the proposed fee that would add a financial burden to oil and natural gas companies and “cost thousands of jobs, stifle economic recovery, increase energy costs for all Americans, strengthen our adversaries, and ultimately impede the transition to a lower carbon future.”

Among the signatories were Reps. Henry Cuellar, Vincente Gonzales and the since-retired Filemon Vela whose district is now represented by Rep. Mayra Flores (R) after she won a special election earlier this year.

Cuellar, a known moderate in the House and the only pro-life Democrat, has already faced a stiff primary challenge that led to a run-off election. Though he ultimately voted for the “Build Back Better” bill, his office was less than forthcoming to the Tribune about his current intentions on the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The Congressman will be reviewing the bill once the final version comes over to the House from the Senate,” they told the outlet.

Meanwhile, Gonzales was a little more open about where he currently stood, declaring, “My priority is ensuring this bill would not raise energy prices or hinder American energy jobs at such a critical time. These are the people and values I represent and will continue to fight for.”

His statement is in line with much of what Manchin said before he was swayed to vote in favor of the spending package after garnering assurances from Democratic leaders that the approximately 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project would be given a green light for his constituents in West Virginia.

Gonzalez seemed open to negotiations to win him over as he touted his party’s accomplishments and his overall favorability of the legislation to Fox News Digital.

“Democrats are continuing to deliver for the American people. I look forward to working with my House colleagues as we return to Washington to work on this much needed legislation,” he said before adding, “There are provisions in this bill that will help our seniors and those on fixed incomes like lowering prescription drug prices and capping insulin for those on Medicare. I will be sure to fight for South Texans and make sure no one is left behind.”

The Representative claims to “fight for South Texans” belied his own self-interest in retaining his seat as he had previously acknowledged the detriment that just the methane fee would have on the economy. His apprehension did not even address the added taxes toward hiring and funding 87,000 new IRS agents that predominantly audit lower-income Americans, an increase in royalties drilling companies must pay for use of public land, and $60 billion toward the ambiguously dubbed “environmental justice,” as reported by the Daily Mail.

Additional payout included $3 billion to the USPS to switch to electric vehicles and $2 billion toward the auto industry to pay to retool plants to facilitate the manufacture of more electric vehicles that the energy grid is not suited to maintain.

Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) who had also signed the September letter to his leadership said the quiet part out loud when he noted the bill held “something there for everyone” and told the Tribune, “At the end of the day, it’s going to be something that we can all be proud of, and it’s something that President Biden made a big part of his agenda.”

“So I have no concerns at all in that area,” he said of caucus members getting swayed to support the bill.”


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