The GOP’s Vote on the Energy Bill and EPA Rule is Not a Betrayal

After bipartisan rebuff, Manchin abandons private legislative deal to help fossil fuel projects

From the National Journal:

When Rep. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, stood up in a Senate committee room to offer his support for a measure that would have sped up the approval of coal-fired power plants, he was met with a wall of angry objections from Republican senators. “I’d rather die than to have my name associated with this bill,” Manchin said. “Do we want to be remembered as the Senate that opposed the American energy renaissance?” Republican senators in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works began by insisting that the proposal would leave them with no choice but to consider Manchin’s vote on the matter a “disloyalty” and a “betrayal,” something Manchin said “doesn’t pass the laugh test.” But Manchin continued to insist that his willingness to buck his party and support the GOP position was not a betrayal, but a virtue of his faith — a belief that led him to cast a vote that had not been asked of him by the Senate GOP, but that he said “no conscience” to.

Manchin’s willingness to buck his party and vote for the GOP position is not a virtue that Republicans had asked of him, nor is it a betrayal that Democrats had requested. If we look, for example, at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ record on climate change, we find that Manchin voted with Sanders in the Senate to block a climate bill and in the House to block an EPA climate rule.

I like Manchin and I do not fault him for voting out of political convictions that he shares with Sanders. But he did not do so because the action was not asked of him by his Senate colleagues (or anybody else, for that matter) and it is a betrayal of the people who elected him to represent them that he could not have said no to the request.

It is not just Manchin, either: If we look at those senators who voted against the energy bill and the EPA rule, we find a wide range of positions ranging from being against both the bill and the rule to being strictly against one or the other.

What do the folks in the Trump wing of the GOP think about Manchin and how their actions are affecting them?

“I will be voting against Joe Man

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