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Climate Politics

Biden Team Slow-Walked Green Agenda in Failed Bid to Woo Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin, center, at an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 11. 

Senator Joe Manchin, center, at an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 11. 

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Before Senator Joe Manchin slammed the brakes on broad climate legislation, Biden administration officials had sought to keep talks alive by slow-walking some controversial energy and environmental policy moves.

The efforts, described by people familiar with the matter, were designed to preserve leverage in negotiations and avoid angering Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, whose vote is pivotal in the evenly divided Senate. There was fear that some policy moves could prompt Manchin to walk away from the talks, said one of the people, all of whom asked not to be identified describing private deliberations. No one wanted to do anything that would give Manchin an excuse to say no to the reconciliation bill, even though many people suspected he would never be supportive, said another.