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Manchin fires back after Bernie Sanders pens op-ed in West Virginia paper

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this is a frustrating article if you're a liberal. here are extended excerpts:

Joe Manchin is hearing a dire pitch from his colleagues: Don’t blow our chance to save the world.

For Manchin, the moment is a culmination of his career as a stick in the mud for his party’s climate policies — a position that’s helped him win reelection.

After Manchin rejected a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s climate plan and rebuffed a separate carbon tax Tuesday, Senate Democrats are urgently pressing their West Virginia colleague for an alternative. Biden and Democrats are trying to clinch a deal on Biden’s larger social spending bill, but the climate plank has become a serious question mark due to Manchin. And some progressives are reiterating they won't support any bill that doesn’t have a strong climate component.

Manchin is reluctant to embrace anything that could significantly disadvantage West Virginia’s gas and coal industry. Though he is endorsing some lower-tier clean energy investments, those fall far short of the two big ideas his colleagues have championed: a program encouraging utilities to cut emissions and a carbon tax. Now, there’s enormous pressure on Democrats to get Manchin on board with what could be Democrats’ only chance in a decade or more to enact consequential climate policies.

“Sen. Manchin has to balance the fact that he may have certain opinions, but he also has a responsibility as a chairman in the Democratic caucus, of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who spoke privately with Manchin after his declaration on Tuesday that the carbon tax was “off the board.”

Manchin is aware of how sensitive the issue is for his colleagues. After his conversation with Heinrich, Manchin initially demurred: “The more I talk, the more everyone gets pissed off. So I’m going to quit talking.” But later, when approached in the Senate basement, Manchin rebuffed any suggestion that he’s trying to sink the climate change component of his party's bill.

“My God, absolutely. Criminy,” Manchin said of whether he wants a strong climate component. “The bottom line is, and I’ve been saying from day one: Innovation, not elimination.”

Privately, Democrats are scrambling to produce something big that can win Manchin's vote. One environmental advocate close to the negotiations told POLITICO a “Plan C” on climate change could involve pouring tons more money into grants, loan guarantees and other programs aimed at curbing emissions.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said that plowing more money into research and development could do the trick: “There are things that make a big difference that Joe would agree to.” And Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said that increasing energy storage could be feasible to Manchin.

“He’s been more receptive to climate-related legislation this year than I expected given [he’s from] a coal state and all that history,” King said.

That still leaves Democratic leaders with a dilemma, since backing a deal that leans heavily on voluntary and research programs almost surely will disappoint climate advocates on and off the Hill. Dozens of Democrats have vowed for months to oppose legislation insufficiently strong on climate provisions under the tagline of “no climate, no deal."

Beyond the scientific realities, though, lie political ones. Democrats are anxious for Biden to show up at global climate negotiations in early November with proof the U.S. can be counted on to follow through on its emissions-combating commitments. The fear is that, without a national program for clean electricity or an economy-wide carbon tax, other nations won’t buy the president's rhetoric.
 
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Needless to say, the response to Sanders’s op-ed, both from parts of the media and from Manchin himself, was entirely predictable. Leading the charge was prominent Iraq War booster and #resistance member Bill Kristol, who smugly questioned the strategic wisdom of publishing the piece. “Maybe there’s some brilliant strategy I don’t get here, but this attempt by Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders to publicly pressure Joe Manchin through an op-ed in a West Virginia paper seems at best pointless, and at worst reckless and likely to backfire.”
 
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One of the problems is that millions of Americans don’t know what’s in the bill. Because, Congress has not done a good job, I don’t think the president has done a particularly good job. And the media has done a particularly bad job in talking about what is in this legislation.
 
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Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders tangled in a private Democratic meeting this week that helped set the stage for growing progress on President Joe Biden’s agenda.

As Democratic leadership gathered Monday ahead of a pivotal week of negotiations on the party’s social spending bill, Manchin (D-W.Va.) laid out what he could accept to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s team. Universal pre-K was in, he said, but no tuition-free community college

Sanders (I-Vt.) was not pleased.

“Bullshit,” Sanders said, according to a readout of the meeting provided to POLITICO. Sanders said Manchin was telling the rest of the Democratic caucus to go “F themselves” and bend to one senator's agenda. Manchin disputed that, recounting that he’d told Biden the president did not win West Virginia and his very presence in the Senate is remarkable.

Shortly after that tussle, Manchin and Sanders met privately, posed for a photo together and publicly reconciled. They’ve met four times so far this week, each softening their rhetoric toward one another and speaking more hopefully of a deal even as they continue to spar behind the scenes. Yet the cathartic blowup helped spark a significant breakthrough after a dayslong feud between the two that began when Sanders leaned publicly on Manchin to support Biden’s agenda.

Inside the room on Monday when Sanders and Manchin tangled, though, things weren't quite chummy. Manchin told the rest of the Democratic leadership team he’s getting hit every day back home, adding that the fact he’s agreed to do a social spending bill as pricey as $1.5 trillion is a big deal. Schumer mediated the dispute, defending Manchin and declaring that “you’re not a Republican” because Manchin, like the rest of the caucus, opposed the 2017 GOP tax cuts geared toward the wealthy.

The bad blood between Sanders and Manchin had risen for more than a week, eventually culminating in Sanders publishing an op-ed in a West Virginia paper and Manchin firing back that Sanders is an “out-of-stater” telling West Virginians what to do. Those cross words have dissipated, relatively, as party leaders set a new goal of crafting a deal by the end of the month. As he left the Capitol, Sanders agreed with Manchin that a deal is unlikely this week.

Notably, Manchin supports raising corporate tax rates and income tax rates on the wealthy as well as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
 
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I’m with Bernie on the political revolution stuff, I want massive change. But I also realize that a huge part of politics and policymaking.... especially in a country the size of America...is compromise. You must be able to compromise. And a lot of people aren’t so good at that.
 
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Joe Biden’s whole agenda is being held for ransom by a handful of corrupt extortionists in the Senate — and Biden seems basically fine with it.
 
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Friends,

We are at a breaking point. For the future of this planet. And for the future of what we call American democracy.

We are also at a breaking point in Biden’s presidency. All the major initiatives that we need to get done for the economy, for healthcare, for the environment, for voting rights and our ability to actually hold free and fair elections are up in the air.

For the past few weeks, conservative, corporatist Democrats in Congress have been chipping away at what Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have teamed up to create -- a massive $3.5 trillion investment in the American people.
 
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you name the issue...Bernie has been a leader on it...there is not a single issue that affects working people that Bernie hasn't been a leader on
 

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