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Manchin says he won't advance Biden lands nominee


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who chairs the Senate committee tasked with evaluating presidential nominees related to energy and natural resource issues, said Friday that he will not advance one of President Biden’s nominees.

Manchin, in a Houston Chronicle opinion piece, said he would not advance the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis, who has been nominated to be assistant secretary for lands and minerals management at the Interior Department. 

“Today, I have also decided, as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, that I will not be moving forward the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis as assistant secretary of the Department of Interior,” he wrote. 

He cited an internal Interior Department memo in which Daniel-Davis signed off on a decision not to lower the fees that companies have to pay to the federal government to extract oil and gas because of climate change concerns. 

Based on that memo, Manchin said last week that he “will not support anyone who agrees with this type of misguided reasoning.” He went a step further Friday saying he wouldn’t move the nomination forward. 

In response, Interior Department spokesperson Melissa Schwartz expressed disappointment and said that Daniel-Davis will continue to work in the administration, where she is currently principal deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management. 

“We are very disappointed to learn of the Chairman’s position via today’s op-ed after his support during two committee hearings and votes over the past two years,” Schwartz said via email. 

“Laura Daniel-Davis has served this Administration, as she has two others, with a dedication that we should aspire to see in every public servant. She will continue to lead this portfolio at Interior and implement President Biden’s direction, stated consistently and clearly since Day One, with respect to carefully balancing the role that public lands and waters play as we face the climate crisis,” she added. 

Manchin previously voted in favor of Daniel-Davis’s confirmation at two separate committee hearings. 

Daniel-Davis is one of several of Biden’s nominees lately that Manchin has come out against. Gigi Sohn, who Biden had nominated to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently withdrew her name after Manchin said he would not support her nomination. 

Manchin also expressed opposition to Internal Revenue Service nominee Daniel Werfel over the agency’s implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, though Werfel was still confirmed as he had support from a handful of Republicans. 

In the op-ed, Manchin further criticized the Biden administration’s implementation of the climate, tax and healthcare bill, saying that the administration “continues to ignore congressional intent on critical components” of the legislation.

He warned of “consequences now and in the future” if this continues. 

In addition to the memo, which concerned a lease sale off the coast of Alaska that was required by the new law, Manchin has also expressed frustration over the administration’s delay for stipulations for Inflation Reduction Act’s electric vehicle tax credits.

Updated at 1:54 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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