Jun 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Heinrich says he hopes Manchin sees "opportunity" in supporting infrastructure through reconciliation

Axios energy reporter Ben Geman and New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich.

Photo: Axios

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) hopes that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sees the "opportunity" to build a more "prosperous West Virginia" by supporting an infrastructure bill that would only require 51 votes for passage, Heinrich told Axios at a virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Manchin, a moderate, is opposed to passing an infrastructure bill through the budget reconciliation process and wants a package negotiated that can earn the support of 10 Republicans.

  • Republicans oppose Biden's proposal, which addresses not only traditional infrastructure, but green energy and climate change.

What he's saying: "If you look at the state of West Virginia that he represents, it's a state that is full of what I often refer to as 'energy veterans:' people who have kept the lights on for the rest of us for decades and decades," Heinrich said of Manchin.

  • "And when you have a transition that is as big and as deep as this one and the coal jobs that really drove much of that economy historically have dwindled. Well, there's huge opportunity in a reconciliation package," he added.

Heinrich also addressed the idea that Democrats might want to push through a new clean energy standard through the reconciliation process.

  • "I think the question is, can you get it through reconciliation? And if it is structured to conform to the rules of reconciliation, I think the answer is yes," Heinrich said.

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper