Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) has indicated he will use his position on the Senate Energy Committee to stall President Joe Biden's climate change package unless Republicans are given the opportunity to negotiate the bill's provisions.
Manchin, who is seen as a moderate swing vote in the split Senate, says he does not want to push the bill through via reconciliation, which is a vote that requires a simple majority.
"I'm not going to do it through reconciliation. I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying," he said.
The move could force the Senate to vote under normal rules of passing legislation with 60 votes. Manchin said he believes he can persuade 10 Republicans to join the measure by allowing them a voice at the table.
The cost of the climate change and infrastructure bill is estimated to be between $2 and $4 trillion, adding to the $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed last weekend.
🔦 Manchin also said he was concerned "we're just setting ourselves up" for "a tremendous, deep recession that could lead into a depression" due to the sharp rise in the national debt over the last year alone. The debt, which rose from $5.6 trillion in 2000 to over $28 trillion in 2021, has surpassed the U.S. economy due to a sharp increase from COVID-19 stimulus spending.