House Dems THREATEN Government Shutdown Over Energy Deal

Almost a third of House Democrats are threatening to shut down the federal government if West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s energy permitting deal is included in the government funding bill.

Earlier this year, Manchin made a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass a bill speeding up the federal approval process to drill for oil and gas.

In return, Manchin agreed to support the White House’s $739 billion climate change and tax hike package, reported Fox News.

This week, Schumer confirmed that the permitting legislation would be attached to the government funding bill, which must be passed by Sept. 30.

“Our intention is to add it to the [continuing resolution], absolutely,” he said.

However, seventy-one House Democrats have sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi warning her that they are considering voting against the government funding measure.

“In the face of the existential threats like climate change and MAGA extremism, House and Senate leadership has a greater responsibility than ever to avoid risking a government shutdown by jamming divisive policy riders into a must-pass continuing resolution,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva.

“Permitting reform hurts already-overburdened communities, puts polluters on an even faster track, and divides the caucus,” he added.

Democrats noted that the bill is full of risk, claiming “such a move would force Members to choose between protecting [environmental justice] communities from further pollution or funding the government.”

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has also expressed his opposition to the agreement.

On Thursday, Sanders said it will lead to more carbon emissions and called it “a huge giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.”

He also promised that at least 59 House members would oppose the legislation with him.

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib said “We will be united in defeating the separate Manchin ‘permitting reforms’ that will accelerate climate change and pollute Black, brown, Indigenous and low-income communities.”

“Manchin went back on his word to get [Build Back Better] done, and we owe him nothing now,” she added.

The letter included signatures from progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, and Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell.

With the expected bill, Manchin would see the approval of a natural gas pipeline running for over 300 miles through Virginia and West Virginia.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline was started in 2014 and reached 90% completion before being stalled by environmental lawsuits.

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline is the only project in the entire country that can bring 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day onto the market in just six months,” Manchin said in August.

Manchin’s energy bill , which is still being drafted, would require the federal government to hold more leasing auctions for the right to drill on federal land.