Democrats Race to Renew Deal on Climate and Energy With Joe Manchin

Democratic leaders are rushing to finalize a revised version of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan with Sen. Joe Manchin, The Washington Post reports.

Manchin, who blew up negotiations over a larger package last year, has been in talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to revive parts of Biden’s climate agenda.

Manchin’s aides say they are “far from a deal” but some Democrats are aiming to wrap up a climate proposal as soon as next week, sources told the Post.

Of course, Democrats have believed they were close to a deal with Manchin in the past only to end up empty-handed.

“Suggestions that a reconciliation deal is close are false,” said Sam Runyon, a spokesman for Manchin. “Senator Manchin still has serious unresolved concerns and there is a lot of work to be done before it’s conceivable that a deal can be reached he can sign onto.”

Climate measures:

Democratic leaders have had “advanced” talks with Manchin about reducing methane emissions.

Democrats last year sought to impose a fee on oil and gas companies’ methane emissions but Manchin opposed the fee.

Democrats are working with Manchin on a compromise that would exempt companies from the fee if they comply with the EPA’s methane regulations.

The solution has taken on more urgency in recent days after the Supreme Court gutted the EPA’s power to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Drug measures:

Democratic leaders appear to have finalized a plan to lower prescription drug costs for seniors, another key plank of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

The plan would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of certain drugs.

But the size, scope and cost of the final package are still up for debate.

The climate part of the bill may cost around $300 billion to $350 billion, far less than the $555 billion sought by Biden.


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