Democratic congressional leaders are facing a progressive rebellion — which could potentially risk a government shutdown — in the wake of a closed-door deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Sen. reduction act.
After repeatedly condemning that “disastrous side deal” that would streamline the permitting process for energy projects across the US—which Schumer agreed to include with a mandatory spending bill to fund the federal government — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., immediately announced Thursday that he intends to oppose the funding proposal as a result.
“If the United States Congress goes on record and says, ‘Yes we are going to support more fossil fuel reduction, more carbon emissions,’ the signal we are sending to our people and the planet is a terrifying, terrifying signal. is,” Sanders said in a floor speech.
He did not speak to reporters afterward. Asked if he would not vote on funding the government if the Schumer-Munchkin permission deal is attached, he replied: “Yes. You’re talking about the future of the planet.”
Sanders’ protest adds to mounting progressive pressure in the House, where some left-wing lawmakers have similarly threatened to block the government funding bill if it includes desired changes to Manchin’s energy permit.
Sanders — read Thursday from a has-not-released letter obtained Wednesday by ABC News — that he said had been signed by “at least 59” House progressives opposing the Schumer-Manchin agreement.
That deal, Sanders quoted the letter, said, “would silence the voices of environmental communities by shielding them from scrutiny. It would allow members to choose between protecting environmental justice communities from further pollution or funding the government. We ask you.” urges to ensure these. The provisions have been kept out of a perpetual resolution or any other passed law this year.”
Manchin has argued that allowing improvements would also help speed up projects involving wind, solar and other environmentally friendly sources of energy. He’s adamant that permission for reform should remain in the funding bill, and so far, he’s backed by Schumer.
Despite the progressive rhetorical rumble, it is possible that the bill to fund the government – which would also include Popular Aid for Ukraine and disaster relief – would garner enough GOP support to render the liberal blockade threatened.
“It was a rank political deal,” Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, told reporters Thursday about Munchkin and Schumer’s agreement. But he stopped short, saying it would jeopardize government funding.
Still, some other Republicans are vowing to oppose the funding proposal as they oppose Schumer and Manchin’s deal. Many conservatives have said they noted the last-minute nature of the deal known among Democrats on broad climate and health care reform legislation known as the IRA. It passed without a single GOP vote—some time after some Republicans had voted with Democrats on computer chip funding, thinking that Democrats’ social spending bill was dead.
Lindsey Graham, R.C., told ABC that “I would vote against it,” referring to government funding, and added that he was urging his Republican allies to do the same.
It’s not yet clear whether Republicans will unite behind Graham’s effort, but most GOP aides familiar with the matter say they don’t expect it.
ABC News’ Maryam Khan contributed to this report.