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Sen. Joe Manchin picked up a key Republican vote for attaching his energy reform proposal to a government funding bill Thursday in the form of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito – but it’s still not clear if it has enough support to pass.
Capito, R-W.Va., told reporters that the details of bill from Manchin, D-W.Va., in support of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project in their home state were key for her. She said she supports the bill and supports including it on an upcoming “continuing resolution” bill to fund the government.
Congress must pass a funding bill by the end of next week or else trigger a government shutdown.
But Manchin’s bill still faces an unclear road ahead, with some Democrats and many Republicans opposing it for differing reasons.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., opposes speeding along new energy projects. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., opposes the special language in the bill supporting the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and many Republicans are opposing Manchin’s bill – despite generally supporting permitting reform – because it was tied to a deal for his vote on Democrats’ social spending and taxation bill from last month.
“It’s possible but they’re not ogling to get nearly enough,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told Fox News Digital when asked if she thinks more Republicans besides Capito will back Manchin’s bill. “I prefer Sen. Capito’s version.”
Ernst is the vice chair of the Senate GOP conference.
Many other Republicans said they are so far undecided on voting for a continuing resolution with Manchin’s bill. The West Virginia senator released the 91-page legislation Wednesday night.
Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and John Boozman, R-Ark., all told reporters they are undecided on the legislation Thursday. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said she disapproves of doing major policy changes like permitting reform on a continuing resolution, but has not outright opposed it.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said Thursday he has concerns about Manchin’s bill.
Sen Steve Daines, R-Mont., meanwhile told Fox News Digital that Capito’s support doesn’t change his opposition.
“She has her own issue with West Virginia there with the pipeline, and we understand that,” Daines said. He emphasized a part of the Clean Water Act known as Section 401 that he said Manchin’s bill does not go “far enough” to change.