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The left is angry with Senator Joe Manchin for rejecting climate-related provisions in a reconciliation bill. Democrats hope to be passed this month, but Democrats in Congress say they don’t want any major retaliation against him.
“I don’t think it’s very wise to kick him out of the party now and give the hammers to the Republicans,” D-Mich. Representative Andy Levin said of the idea of kicking Manchin out of the party. “In our anger we don’t want to be foolish.”
Levin responded to calls from some, including former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, for Manchin to lose his chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and be expelled from the party.
Reich said in a recent Substack post that the Democrats wouldn’t really lose anything if Manchin switched parties to the GOP in response to such a move. “They have already lost control of the Senate,” he said.
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But even with Democrats stressing that climate change action that Manchin refused to vote for this month is key to fighting serious climate threats, multiple House Democrats have suppressed all calls to act against Manchin.
“I’m not that interested in that, to tell you the truth,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said. “I mean, I’m interested in uniting us, not just among Democrats, but between Democrats and Republicans.”
Raskin added that climate change is a “civilization threat” and a “threat to our national security.” He said President Biden must take “all possible actions”, using executive measures.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said “no” when asked about suggestions to remove Manchin from his chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and of the Democratic Party. But he also noted that Manchin has said he is open to a possible review of climate legislation later this year.
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“I understand he was talking about a delay,” said Lieu. “And you should talk to him for additional information on what he means by that.”
Manchin said in a Friday interview on MetroNews Talkline in West Virginia with Hoppy Kercheval that he could be open to passing climate and energy elements of reconciliation later this year if inflation appears to be slowing.
“Political headlines are of no value to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas as inflation rises to 9.1%,” Manchin spokesman Sam Runyon said last week. “Senator Manchin believes it is time for leaders to set aside political agendas, re-evaluate and adapt to the economic realities the country faces, to avoid taking steps that fuel the inflationary fire.”
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Despite Manchin’s explanations, Levin and Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., sued him for blocking legislation supported by most in the party.
“To me, Joe Manchin is Lucy. He’s not Joe Manchin anymore. He’s Lucy Manchin. I don’t think the ‘Peanuts’ characters had a last name. So all of a sudden I’m calling Lucy from Peanuts, Lucy Manchin,” Levin said. “All he does is put the football down over and over. And when Charlie Brown, like his entire Democratic team, comes kicking the ball, he picks it up and laughs. And then he does it over and over.”
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“It’s unfortunate that one man can destroy legislation that will save our planet and… save our world, save our people,” Jayapal said. “We think it’s important for the president to take executive action now. That won’t be enough. And we can’t run the world if we have one person on our side who… kills all that legislation.”
Jayapal did not answer a question from Fox News Digital whether she would support kicking Manchin out of the party. Levin further accused Manchin of negotiating in bad faith legislation that Democrats have been pursuing for more than a year.
“I’m disgusted by Joe Manchin’s behavior over many, many months. He hasn’t been honest. He hasn’t shown up. He hasn’t kept his word. So I’m furious with him,” he said.
But if the Democrats can just get more members in the Senate, Levin said, “A skunk in the picnic like Joe Manchin, nobody would even remember him… Let him moan and whine about everything and keep, you know, moving the goalposts.” . It wouldn’t matter.”