Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) upped the ante in his spat with the Biden administration over the Inflation Reduction Act.
Manchin appeared with Sean Hannity on Fox News Monday night. In the interview, the moderate Democrat complained that the Biden administration and Democrats had neglected the commitments to develop new oil and gas projects he secured in exchange for his vote on the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act. If the Biden administration continued to neglect American energy security, Manchin threatened to vote to repeal the act he helped to pass.
“They broke their word to the American public,” Manchin told Hannity, noting that the original draft of the bill he wrote would have cost $684 billion over 10 years, and $384 billion was for energy production.
Manchin went on to stress that the United States has the natural resources to become energy independent. “We have the gas, and we have the oil, and we have the coal,” he said. “We can do it better and cleaner than anywhere in the world. And so, this piece of legislation was balanced. [In the next] 10 years, we are going to have enough fossil [fuel] to run our country and to help our allies around the world, and we will also be investing in new technology for the future. Now, they have disregarded this completely, what was agreed upon, and they know exactly what we agreed upon. This was energy security, and we have not heard a word about energy security out of their mouths since it was passed. It’s all about environment.”
Manchin concluded by saying that if the administration continues to neglect energy production, he will do everything in his power to stop the administration from implementing the law, even if it means voting to repeal the bill he cast the deciding vote for. “If this administration does not honor what they said they would do and continue to liberalize that — $384 billion is what we are supposed to invest in over 10 years, and they blow that out of the water and its six or seven or eight hundred — I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening,” he said. “And if they don’t change, then I would vote to repeal my own bill.”
In recent weeks, Manchin has repeatedly clashed with the Biden administration over the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. In March, Manchin penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal decrying how the administration was redefining the law to favor green energy projects over fossil fuels. “[T]hey are ignoring the law’s intent to support and expand fossil energy and are redefining ’domestic energy’ to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels,” he wrote. “The administration is attempting at every turn to implement the bill it wanted, not the bill Congress actually passed.”
Manchin has also blasted the administration over its new regulations for electric vehicle tax credits that would reduce the number of vehicles that qualify, while also making America more dependent on foreign supply chains. He also called EPA regulations intended to boost EV sales a “Trojan horse” to increase America’s reliance on China for critical minerals.
Manchin’s sudden criticism comes as West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced a run for Senate to oppose him. Justice joins Rep. Alex Mooney in the primary to oust Manchin, who narrowly avoided defeat in 2018.