PHOENIX — A proposal by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to ease permitting restrictions for infrastructure projects — a “sidecar” to President Joe Biden’s big climate and tax law — may face a new hurdle in the House, as progressive Democrats demand that it be voted on separately from any bill to keep the government running.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, told HuffPost that a “Dear colleague” letter is circulating to remove the option of linking the two issues when they come to the House floor.
To keep the government open, Congress needs to pass a temporary stopgap funding bill by Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins, since it hasn’t approved the individual bills that fund federal agencies.
These extensions, called continuing resolutions, generally keep funding at the existing level through a specific date. Because they are must-pass legislation, they also can attract various other provisions that would not be approved on their own.
“Don’t stick it to the keep-the-government-open vote,” Grijalva said Thursday on the sidelines of the Native American Journalists Association’s annual conference in Phoenix, explaining the reasoning behind the letter’s circulation. “That’s not fair.”
“This is not a payback.”
- Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
“The inclusion of these provisions in a continuing resolution, or any other must-pass legislation, would silence the voices of frontline and environmental justice communities by insulating them from scrutiny,” the letter warns. ”Such a move would force Members to choose between protecting EJ communities from further pollution or funding the government....