Biden admin officials feel that Joe Manchin has sometimes misinterpreted provisions of the IRA.
The Inflation Reduction Act was crafted by Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Manchin sees the law as one focused on energy and says Biden wants it to be centered on climate.
It weren’t for Sen. Joe Manchin, the Inflation Reduction Act wouldn’t exist.
Last year, the moderate West Virginia Democrat, having previously scuttled President Joe Biden’s expansive Build Back Better agenda, sat down with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to hash out legislation that came together after intraparty Democratic wrangling.
The tax and climate law — which Biden signed into law last August — permits a three-year extension of subsidies for individuals to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, while also allocating nearly $370 billion for climate and energy programs, and $300 billion to reduce the federal budget deficit.
Manchin was front and center at the White House signing ceremony, where Biden handed Manchin the pen that he used to sign the bill into law.
But Manchin has increasingly become critical of the Biden administration over their application of the law.
And Biden administration officials feel that Manchin misinterpreted stipulations of the legislation that he crafted, with officials also viewing the West Virginia lawmaker’s demands as opening them up to violating the law, three individuals with ties to the administration told The Washington Post.
In February, the senator said he was “raising hell” to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over battery sourcing rules for electric vehicle tax credits.
And during an April interview on the Fox News program “Hannity,” Manchin threatened to repeal the consequential law.
“This was about energy security and we have not heard a word about energy security out of their mouths since it was passed. It’s all about the environment,” Manchin said at the time.
Manchin has been infuriated with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over its pursuit of longstanding climate goals. And the lawmaker, who has been a key ally of the coal industry throughout his entire career, was especially frustrated by its push to craft regulations that would study climate impact as natural gas projects are developed, according to The Post.
So for the time-being, Manchin has basically kept the five-member commission from running with a Democratic majority, as it now has two members from each party and a vacancy. The senator refused to hold a hearing for former chair Richard Glick, whose term on the commission ended in early January.
Complicating matters is Manchin’s precarious political position, as he is the only statewide Democratic officeholder left in West Virginia and has not yet announced his plans for reelection next year. His criticism of the White House can only serve to boost his standing in deep red West Virginia, as Biden remains unpopular in the state. The senator’s attacks also hurt the standing and implementation of the law.
The White House has so far remained silent on the matter.
But Manchin isn’t pumping the brakes on his frustrations with Biden over the implementation of the law.
“This bill that I wrote was done about energy security — truly producing more gas, more oil, more coal, than we have in the past consistently,” he recently said during a West Virginia radio interview. “I think the business of politics … has gotten so absolutely toxic that he’s playing to the base.”
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