Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., attempted to downplay his involvement in the creation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on Wednesday, saying he only provided “input” for the bill after previously taking credit for writing it.
Amid the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the West Virginia senator told Politico this week that there was no “deal” between himself and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the bill, even though his input was pivotal in ensuring that the bill made it to the president’s desk.
“Manchin played down his involvement in the IRA, [saying] there was no ‘deal’ with Schumer. Instead, Manchin said he provided ‘input’ that emphasized energy security amid the war in Ukraine — a goal he judged as a success a year later,” the outlet reported Thursday.
“Despite his protestations, Manchin’s cooperation was crucial to passing the law,” the outlet noted.
Manchin’s comments appear to depart from his previous statements on his involvement with the IRA.
In a January interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Manchin insisted that he and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which he chairs, “wrote the bill” and ensured it came to fruition.
“Well, let me just say this, that, first of all, the Inflation Reduction Act is truly – was done truly with me and my committee. … We wrote the bill. And we did that because we had the expertise and the ability to do it. And I’m the chairman of the Energy Committee,” he said at the time.
As the bill was being drafted and discussed in July 2022, Manchin told West Virginia Metro News that the measure as one “that my staff and myself put together.”
“This is our bill. This is a bill that we worked on,” said Manchin, touting the effectiveness of the measure.
The senator also took credit in August 2022 for the name of the legislation, which has been mocked in the past for having little to do with bringing down inflation.
“The name that I came up with was the Inflation Reduction Act,” Manchin told reporters outside the White House at the time.
In a separate interview with Bartiromo on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” in February, Manchin further touted the bill and insisted that it “will be the most transformative bill that we’ve ever had in the United States, in Congress as far as I’ve been there because its energy security.”
Other messaging also points to the senator’s role in crafting the legislation, including press releases from his office which referred to the IRA as Manchin’s bill.
“Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The legislation now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law,” stated an August 2022 press release from Manchin’s office.
Following President Biden’s decision to sign the measure into law on August 16, 2022, Manchin’s office released a similar press release.
“Today, President Joe Biden signed U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. The historic legislation will address record inflation by paying down our national debt, lowering healthcare costs, and increasing American energy production to provide relief at the pump and bolster energy security,” his office wrote at the time.
Manchin was also in attendance for the signing of the IRA at the White House, where Biden gave the senator the pen he used to sign the bill.
Prior to the measure passing through both chambers and Biden giving it the final nod, Manchin claimed the IRA was a “good piece of legislation” and a nonpartisan “red, white, and blue bill.”
Months after the bill’s passage however, Manchin began to criticize how the Biden administration was implementing the law. In an April interview on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Manchin accused accused the Biden administration of “breaking its word” on the legislation in pursuit of a “radical climate agenda.”
Manchin, a moderate Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2010, faces an uphill battle should he decide to seek re-election to his post in 2024. Two prominent Republicans in the state — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney — have already announced they will seek the seat currently held by Manchin in next year’s election.