Joe Manchin says Republicans in ‘normal times’ would support energy and health care bill


Washington
CNN

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin argued Sunday that Republicans would “normally” support an energy and health care bill he recently negotiated with his party leaders, saying the main bill law addresses key areas that the GOP has long championed.

“I think it’s a great bill and normally my fellow Republicans would be for something like this. We’ve basically paid off the debt, (which) is what they want. We’ve expedited the issuance permits, and that’s what they want. And we’ve increased power generation, which they want. We’ve done things that we should be doing together,” said Manchin, who represents Virginia- Occidental, to CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Manchin said the bill he negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was not “inflammatory” despite some reports promoted by Republicans that show it could increase inflation and raise the taxes.

“Well, we found that they were wrong. And people can be wrong, but how the hell can that be incendiary? Manchin told Tapper. “How can it add flames to the fires of inflation right now if you pay down the debt?”

He added: “We are doing everything we can to make sure we are tackling the problem. And these are solutions to the problems that we have. So I know those who play politics with it.

When Manchin and Schumer, a Democrat from New York, announced the deal last week, it represented a breakthrough after more than a year of negotiations that have repeatedly collapsed.

Although many details were not disclosed, the measure would invest $369 billion in energy and climate change programs, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, according to a report. one-page fact sheet. It would also address the licensing of energy infrastructure, which could ease the path for a shale gas pipeline in West Virginia.

On Sunday, Manchin was asked about winning support from fellow moderate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for the legislation.

“Sen. Sinema is my dear friend. We work very closely on so many things, and she has so much to do in this bill. She has trained quite well and worked very hard on it. And with that , she brought down drug prices, she was very important in letting Medicare go ahead and negotiate lower drug prices,” Manchin said of the Arizona senator.

He added: “I think basically when she looks at the bill and sees the whole range of what we’re doing…hopefully she’ll be positive about it but she’ll make her decision and I respect that.”

Manchin also said he hopes the legislation will pass before the August recess, which Democratic leaders are hoping for.

The senator’s support is notable given his stance earlier this month that he would not “unequivocally” support the climate or fiscal provisions of the Democratic economic package, which seemed to torpedo any hope Democrats had of passing legislation to fight. against climate change in the near future. But he told Tapper on Sunday that he “never walked away” from negotiations with Schumer.

“I never left, but we rearranged the bill, if you will,” he said. “What we had before that, there were things in there that I considered and thought could be considered inflammatory. … Inflation is the biggest challenge we have in our country right now – in my state and in the whole country. So that’s what we’re fighting.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania slammed the deal in a separate “State of the Union” appearance later, arguing it would negatively impact the US economy at a critical time.

“We haven’t seen any text, we don’t even know what it looks like. So it’s a disaster. This will deepen our recession. This will make inflation worse. It won’t help. I’m really surprised Joe went along with that,” he told Tapper.

This story has been updated to include additional information from the interview.

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