Where’s the Permitting Bill, Senator Manchin?


If a week is a long time in politics, then it has been an eon since Sen. Joe Manchin cut his supersecret permitting deal with Democratic leaders. Yet Mr. Manchin still hasn’t told the public—or even many of his Senate colleagues—what exactly he negotiated. To re-use a famous phrase from Nancy Pelosi, does Congress have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it?

Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer plans to attach the permitting reform to a government-funding vehicle called a continuing resolution that needs to pass by the end of this month. Mr. Manchin said last week that the text of his deal probably will be “released in the CR,” according to the Hill. It sounds as if the strategy is to prevent anyone from pondering the details too long. The permitting changes might be unveiled at the last minute, as pressure to avoid a government shutdown peaks.



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