Shortly after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) reportedly reneged on a deal that centered on climate and health care, President Joe Biden put out a statement committing to using executive action to help the planet.
“So let me be clear: if the Senate will not move to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen our domestic clean energy industry, I will take strong executive action to meet this moment,” he said. “My actions will create jobs, improve our energy security, bolster domestic manufacturing and supply chains, protect us from oil and gas price hikes in the future, and address climate change.”
After Manchin’s newest eleventh-hour reversal made it highly unlikely that Congress will pass anything climate-related before the midterms, Democratic lawmakers and activists alike put out calls for the administration to take on the burden.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) tweeted out a list of suggestions, urging the administration to get into “executive beast mode.”
Manchin maintains that a bill including climate provisions isn’t off the table for him, but insists that July inflation levels must drop first. The connection between the two is foggy — it seems unlikely that the modest plan would have any significant inflationary impact.
Manchin also killed the Democrats’ last big attempt to mitigate climate change, deciding not to support the Build Back Better plan in December after stringing out negotiations for months according to a specific blueprint of his priorities.
In his statement Friday, Biden also urged the Senate to just move forward with Manchin on a bill that would extend Affordable Care Act subsidies, avoiding a coverage cliff for millions, and give Medicare the ability to negotiate lower drug prices.
“The Senate should move forward, pass it before the August recess, and get it to my desk so I can sign it,” he said