House Democrats Threaten Government Shutdown Over Manchin’s Energy Deal

(Photo by Jason Wise/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network, Climate Action Campaign)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Left-wing Democrats in the House of Representatives are threatening to shut down the federal government if an energy permitting deal between Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is included in a government funding resolution.

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act negotiations, Schumer promised Manchin that Congress would pass a bill speeding up the federal approval process for mines, oil wells, and gas pipelines. Manchin has suggested that he will side with Republicans and shut down the federal government if his provisions are not passed into law. Left-wing members of Congress, including Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, have already signaled their opposition to the agreement.

“We urge you to ensure that these provisions are kept out of a continuing resolution or any other must-pass legislation this year,” 72 House Democrats wrote in a letter to lower chamber leadership, Bloomberg reported Friday. Inclusion of Manchin’s reform proposal “force Members to choose” between their environmental priorities and “funding the government,” they added.

Sanders previously promised that at least 59 House members would oppose the agreement.

Sanders has similarly threatened to shut down the government if Manchin’s permitting proposal is included in a continuing resolution. “You’re talking about the future for the planet,” Sanders told reporters, according to ABC News.

Federal funding runs out on Sept. 30, and Congress is expected to attempt to pass a continuing resolution rather than a full funding package before the November midterms. (RELATED: Some Democrats Are Ready To Torpedo Manchin’s ‘Dirty Deal’ On Permitting Reform)

Schumer said on Wednesday that it was his “intention” to include the permitting reform in the continuing resolution. “Permitting reform is part of the IRA and we will get it done,” he explained.

The Inflation Reduction Act included $369 billion in green energy subsidies and tax credits. The bill includes a tax credit of up to $7,500 per electric vehicle. Automobile companies including Hyundai and Ford are expected to benefit from the reconciliation package, and Ford raised the price of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck shortly after the bill’s passage.