Maybe we whould have saved this for schadenfreude on Friday, but it is news now, so we'll go with it. One of the things that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) cares about a lot is permitting reform. He believes that holding up a major energy project for 10 years because somebody spotted a spotted owl near the path of a proposed pipeline is a bad deal for the country, especially when the U.S. is trying to wean itself from foreign oil. Last summer, he made a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that he would vote for the Inflation Reduction Act in return for allowing his bill to speed up the permitting process to come to the floor for a vote.
Schumer kept his word and is willing to bring it up, but now Manchin is holding it up because he has a problem The Republicans who privately agreed to vote for it back then have turned and are against it now, even though they really support the underlying idea. So what's the problem? They want to defeat Manchin in 2024 and don't want to give him a win, despite all the grief he has caused Joe Biden over the past 2 years. The technical term for this is "double crossing" someone. Manchin, who believes in bipartisanship, may now be learning the sad reality is that bipartisanship doesn't exist when the other side thinks it can score points.
Basically, Manchin made a bad bet. He counted on getting 10 Republicans to vote to invoke cloture because they actually support what's in his bill and it is probably a net win for the country, especially with Saudi Arabia once again cutting oil production. What he forgot about is politics. Republicans will not vote for a bill they actually strongly support if they think Democrats will get credit for it. Perhaps Manchin will learn something from this episode and come to realize that no amount of blocking Biden and reaching out to Republicans will get him anywhere. Their goal is to defeat him in 2024 and they will do whatever it takes to achieve it. Nothing is going to change that. (V)