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Joe Manchin Laces Into Biden Administration For Not Fixing The Energy Crisis

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has not been a friend to the White House since President Joe Biden was elected.

He has been one of the rare Democrats who has taken the president to task on his disagreements with the administration and that trend has continued.

This week he spoke at a hearing of the Senate Energy Committee on the Department of the Interior’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 when he shredded the administration for enriching our nation’s enemies, The Daily Wire reported.

“We are holding this hearing during trying times,” the senator said. “Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s weaponization of oil and gas, increasing energy and food prices worldwide, and the growing challenge of competition with China. Given the current global situation, it is essential for the United States to step up to the plate as the superpower of the world.”

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“That includes the responsible development of our abundant energy and mineral resources. Unfortunately, even as we see Russia wage a war enabled by energy insecurity in Europe, this administration has made its opposition to domestic oil and gas production crystal clear – on and off Federal lands and waters,” he said.

“My frustration is at an all-time high that we are talking to OPEC, Iran, and Venezuela to increase oil output while we are at the same time blocking increased energy production at home,” the senator said.

“What does it say to producers here in the United States when we consider working with the Venezuelan government, which certainly doesn’t share our values, instead of supporting domestic or North American production? Is this really in our best interest?” he said.

And this month, after the leaked draft from the Supreme Court some Democrats pinned their hopes on convincing Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to help them get rid of the filibuster to codify Roe V Wade into law, but those dreams have been dashed.

“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said after the leak.

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When asked if he would consider voting to end the filibuster now Sen. Manchin told reporters “The filibuster is a protection of democracy.”

And a spokesperson for Sen. Sinema said to Axios that, “protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past 10 years, and are more important now than ever.”

Sinema did express her support for protecting a woman’s right to choose.

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“A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor. Overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across America,” she said in a press release.

“Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever.

“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve always supported women’s access to health care, I’m a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, and I’ll continue working with anyone to protect women’s ability to make decisions about their futures,” she said.

But even if the filibuster was gone former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Democrats still do not have the votes to codify Roe V Wade into law.

The former press secretary spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One as she traveled with the president to Alabama.

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“So, the President spoke pretty passionately on the tarmac about the Alito draft being an affront to basic rights. But he also said he was not ready to commit to ending the filibuster to codify Roe. Why?” a reporter said.

“And is there a disconnect here between the passion and what needs — what he believes needs to be done?” they said.

Her answer was that there were not enough votes to codify Roe V Wade into law even with no filibuster.

“Well, first, let me say the President’s position is that we need to codify Roe, and that is what he has long called on Congress to act on,” the former press secretary said.

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“What is also true is that there has been a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act which would do exactly that, and there were not even enough votes, even if there was no filibuster, to get that done.

“So, I would note, in his written statement that we released this morning — I’m just going to reiterate what he said in this statement. He said, “…if the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose” — to do exactly that. “It will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation.” And that was speaking to exactly where we are with the votes,” she said.

“I would note that while we’ve been in the air, Leader Schumer noted that he had plans to bring this up for a vote,” she said.

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