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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

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Manchin: "We need to stabilize" Medicare before expanding

Sen. Joe Manchin. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday that Democrats "need to stabilize" Medicare before expanding the program, The Hill reports.

Why it matters: Progressives are hoping to expand Medicare through a broad social spending bill, which Democratic senators have urged Manchin to support. Manchin's vote is critical in passing any Democratic bill in the 50-50 Senate.

Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

Sep 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Dems seek new green deal

Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats discussed with President Biden on Wednesday a plan to exempt billions of dollars of new climate spending from his requirement that his $3.5 trillion "soft" infrastructure plan be offset with additional revenue.

Why it matters: The accounting proposal — a version of "dynamic scoring" — would dramatically lower the amount of taxes Democrats would need to raise while creating wiggle room to increase the ultimate size of the package.

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