Were pulling back the curtain on Joe Manchins fossil fuel businesses

Why is the senator trying so hard to tank his own party’s top legislative priority?

Last week, Sen. Joe Manchin said he wants the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion infrastructure package cut by nearly two-thirds, inevitably gutting provisions that would directly benefit Manchin’s home state of West Virginia.

Then, at a private Senate Democratic caucus luncheon, he reiterated his position that the entire process should be delayed, which could torpedo both infrastructure bills, including the bipartisan $1 trillion package that Manchin personally negotiated.

So why would Joe Manchin — a Democrat — want to tank his own party’s top legislative priority?

In June, The Intercept uncovered a bombshell recording of Manchin strategizing about the infrastructure bill not with constituents but with Wall Street-funded lobbyists for the dark-money group No Labels.

Then, mere weeks ago, No Labels offered to raise $200,000 for two conservative House Democrats if... they would cancel an appearance at a fundraiser hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

If conservative Democrats like Manchin are going to take down the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, with its critically needed investments in clean energy, health care, child care, and education, then the public has a right to know who he’s listening to and what’s influencing his decision.

Our newsroom is relentlessly chasing the truth behind the battle over the infrastructure bill, but this kind of deep-dive investigative journalism is time-consuming and expensive. As a nonprofit news outlet that rejects corporate ads on our website, we rely on our readers. Will you make a donation to help support the fearless reporting of The Intercept?

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Publicly, Manchin says his main concern is an increase to the federal debt, and most news media assumes he’s simply responding to his home state constituents, who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.

But a series of bombshell scoops by The Intercept has revealed how No Labels is dangling incentives for members of Congress to oppose the package, with the group offering to fundraise for conservative Democrats in return for breaking ranks with their party.

Our reporting shows that No Labels is specifically concerned with blocking the reconciliation bill’s proposed tax increases on the wealthy, corporations, and tax-advantaged sectors like private equity and hedge funds — the exact group of people and corporations that finance No Labels.

Further new reporting by The Intercept reveals that the infrastructure bill’s investments in clean energy could reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and deal a blow to Manchin’s own personal wealth.

An expose by The Intercept and our partners at Type Investigations shows that Manchin and his family are heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry, including in several coal companies Manchin himself founded, and the Manchin family’s profits could be in jeopardy if the climate provisions in the Democratic reconciliation package were to become law.

For decades, Manchin’s family coal business has almost entirely avoided public scrutiny. But at The Intercept, we don’t give any politician — no matter their political party — a pass.

It’s no secret that dark-money groups and corporate lobbyists spend huge sums of money to influence legislation and buy out lawmakers. But while most of the corporate media turns a blind eye to this type of corruption, The Intercept is doing the hard work of shoe-leather reporting to follow the money, name names, obtain secret documents, and hold the powerful accountable.

This kind of sleuthing requires subject matter expertise, diligent research, and a considerable amount of time and money. As a nonprofit newsroom, we don’t have corporate backers on speed dial, which means we rely on you, our readers, to power our work.

Will you chip in whatever you can afford to help support the tireless investigative journalism you count on The Intercept to deliver every day?


Thank you, The Intercept team

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