Democratic Defectors Pose Challenges To Biden’s Climate Change Agenda

“I’m voting for energy security for our country. My state is an energy producer and has been an energy producer for over 100 years,” Mr. Manchin told The Times. “But the bottom line is the country needs security. The grid needs reliability. We all need to work together to ensure it’s an all-above energy policy.”

Democratic Defectors Pose Challenges To Biden's Climate Change Agenda
Democratic Defectors Pose Challenges To Biden's Climate Change Agenda

Congressional Democrats pose challenges with Biden particularly over climate change agenda and federal regulations.

A Washington Times analysis says that dozens of Democrats have voted more than once in recent months to oppose Mr. Biden on GOP-led measures that have divided the party. Several Democrats face competitive reelection races next year because they have repeatedly supported Republicans on the climate change issue.

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When it came time to vote, two Democrats opposed virtually every one of Mr. Biden’s green energy policies: West Virginia senator Joe Manchin III and Maine representative Jared Golden.

Mr. Brilliant has taken no less than 11 votes, including those to supersede Mr. Biden’s denials, that conflict with the president’s environmentally friendly power energy guidelines. Mr. Manchin has taken eight.

On multiple occasions, Mr. Biden has also been rejected by four additional Democrats.

Reps. of Texas Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar have each defected seven times; Six times, Washington Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez; and Jon Tester, senator from Montana, three times.

The only members of their party to support House Republicans’ landmark energy package, H.R. 1, were the four House Democrats.

The person in charge of getting Democrats elected to the Senate played down the rebellion, saying that Democrats in swing states were just taking positions that people back home probably liked.

Michigan Democrat Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Gary Peters told SurgeZirc US, “They’re voting the way they think is best for their state.” It is always beneficial to accurately represent your state’s population.”

Steve Daines, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, his Republican counterpart, argued that a few votes wouldn’t change the Democrats’ track record.

According to Montana Republican Mr. Daines, “You’re seeing a few foxhole conversions as we approach the ’24 election,” he told The Times. Back home, voters hold these senators accountable for their recurring votes in opposition to sensible energy policy. Recently, we’ve seen some major shifts.

They opposed Mr. Biden’s energy and climate change agenda by voting against:

• A rule issued by the Labor Department that permits 401(k) managers to engage in ESG investing without clients’ knowledge;

• A Labor Department rule allowing 401(k) managers to engage in ESG investing without clients’ knowledge;

• The suspension of solar panel tariffs on Southeast Asian countries used by Chinese manufacturers to skirt U.S. tariffs;

• Federal environmental protections over small waterways like streams and wetlands;

• Stringent emissions rules for heavy-duty trucks and semis;

• Protections for endangered and threatened species that critics said were overly broad.

In 2024, Mr. Manchin would be among the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate. He hasn’t said yet if he’ll run for office again.

“I’m voting for energy security for our country. My state is an energy producer and has been an energy producer for over 100 years,” Mr. Manchin told The Times. “But the bottom line is the country needs security. The grid needs reliability. We all need to work together to ensure it’s an all-above energy policy.”

As the 2024 elections get closer, Mr. Manchin has become increasingly focused on Mr. Biden’s climate change agenda as chair of the Senate Energy Committee. He threatened to support the repeal of the Democrats’ tax-and-climate spending law, the Inflation Reduction Act, which he helped write, and tanked a top Biden nominee to the Department of Energy over the agency’s proposed efficiency regulations for gas stoves. He also promised to oppose all future EPA nominees over the president’s “radical climate change agenda.”

Due in large part to Mr. Bernstein’s energy views, Mr. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote against Carl Bernstein’s confirmation as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. 50 votes to 49 were needed to confirm Mr. Bernstein.

Mr. Manchin stated: “I did not vote for Mr. Bernstein because we must protect America’s economic stability and energy security from radical policies such as the Green New Deal.”

Mr. Golden’s voting record closely resembles Mr. Manchin, who represents a competitive swing district. Mr. Golden said in a statement to The Times that he wished for more “realistic policies.” He expressed concern that the president’s clean energy initiatives could jeopardize U.S. energy security and access to affordable energy.

Mr. Golden stated, “I support an all-of-the-above energy approach with a primary focus on affordability for working-class communities.” I’m in favor of pragmatic regulations that benefit rural Maine residents. When discussing anything to do with energy, I also think we need to consider the threats to our nation’s security.

Another vulnerable Democrat in the Senate is Mr. Tester, who is running for a fourth team. The bulky farmer has voted against Mr. Biden’s green energy agenda at least three times, including on ESG 401(k) investing guidelines, Chinese solar tariffs, and waterway protections.

Mr. Tester stated to The Times, “I approach [climate change] from probably a different angle than [Biden] does.” I prefer to invest rather than adhere to regulations. So that capitalism can function, let the private sector go out and do the work.

In swing districts like Mr. Cuellar, Mr. Gonzalez, and Ms. Gluesenkamp Perez, moderate Democrats in the House have repeatedly opposed Mr. Biden.

When contacted for comment, their offices did not respond.

Dutzendes of Democrats in Congress have voted in total opposition to Mr. Biden’s climate agenda. However, the majority of these Democrats opposed the president on one point: gas ranges.

The vote in the House that added an amendment to the Republicans’ larger energy package known as H.R. 1, which prohibits new regulations or bans on gas stoves, attracted the most defectors, with 29 Democrats breaking ranks.

The same number again broke from the group to support separate GOP bills to prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from ever banning gas stoves, and block proposed Department of Energy efficiency rules that would make at least half of gas stove models non-compliant.

Mr. Cuellar, Mr. Gonzalez, and Ms. Gluesenkamp Perez all favored the three votes to protect gas stoves and the House Republicans’ energy package. Ms. Gluesenkamp Perez also voted to override Mr. Biden’s veto of the measure and reimpose Chinese solar tariffs.

Voting against Mr. Biden’s federal protections for small waterways and strict emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks and semis, Mr. Cuellar and Mr. Gonzalez cast votes.

The measure to reimpose Chinese solar tariffs received the most bipartisan support in the Senate, with nine Democrats supporting it across party lines.

However, due to presidential vetoes or Senate opposition, no energy and environment legislation passed Congress became law, preserving Mr. Biden’s regulatory climate agenda.

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One Republican is also an outlier on Mr. Biden’s green policies: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.

The Pennsylvania legislator, co-chair of the partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, has supported Mr. Biden’s green policies against the Republican Party at least four times this year, more than any other Republican. He was the only Republican to vote in opposition to the House GOP’s H.R. 1 energy package.

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