WaPo: Democrats’ side deal with Manchin would speed up projects, WV gas

I spoke to Jeff Stein of the Washington Post about Democrats’ external concessions to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) as part of a broader reconciliation deal, both legislative and regulatory.

The agreement appears to have been the only way to secure Manchin’s vote for the broader climate deal. Manchin had voiced concerns about approving hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies for energy projects that could be defeated by red tape or climate lawsuits, and said the United States must do much more to avoid its dependence on authoritarian petrostates.

“Manchin holds all the cards here, and this is his ante,” said Liam Donovan, a GOP political strategist. “Democrats can only do so much under the reconciliation rules, so they inevitably have to look beyond the scope of the bill to seal the deal.”

Read the full piece here.

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NY Mag: Why Republicans Stopped Talking to the Press

I spoke to David Freedlander for his New York Magazine piece on Republicans’ relationship with the mainstream media, and the shifting incentives behind the clean break.

If Republicans sat down with reporters despite anticipating a tough article before, they at least figured it would be better for them than if they ignored the journalist entirely. Now, though, nearly every Republican I talked to said a full-throttle cannon-blasted takedown isn’t just expected but preferred.

“It used to be that you didn’t want to give the media a chance to attack you, but now you see people doing things that are deliberately transgressive just in order to create negative attention — which then allows you to go back to your people and say, ‘Look how the liberal media is attacking me,’” said Liam Donovan, who used to work for the Senate GOP. “A hit piece is worth a heck of a lot more than a positive puff piece.”

Read the full piece here.

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