Joe Manchin Accused of Double Crossing Republicans as GOP Fumes Over Bill

Senator Tom Cotton has accused Democrat Joe Manchin of double crossing the GOP after he came to an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a major energy and health care bill which includes $369 billion to address the climate crisis.

Manchin agreed to a new policy package called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—a scaled down version of the $3 trillion deal once proposed—which aims to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030, as well as lower health care costs and make a down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation.

The West Virginia Democrat's decision arrived just two weeks after he previously objected to the full package and would only support the bills relating to health care and pharmaceutical prices.

tom cotton joe manchin
Tom Cotton (R) twice accused Democrat Joe Manchin of double crossing the GOP during an appearance on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" on Wednesday. Kevin Dietsch/Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Manchin has frequently stated he could not support the climate provisions in any deal because of concerns over inflation.

His turnaround also follows months of stalled negotiations in which he and fellow moderate Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema have torpedoed the Democrats' plans to push through the reconciliation packages in the 50-50 split Senate.

Speaking to Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, Cotton accused the 700-page tax and spending bill which Manchin has signed of being "the longest suicide note in the history of West Virginia."

Ingraham noted that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened that the GOP would not help pass the CHIPs Act if Democrats went forward with the reconciliation package, a statement he made while Manchin was still objecting to it.

"Well, it was obviously a double cross by Joe Manchin," Cotton said. "Just two weeks ago he said he wasn't gonna support a bill like this. He's been saying for months that he wouldn't support so many of the provisions in this bill, he called them gimmicks or smoke and mirrors budgeting, but now he's going to apparently support all of them."

Cotton said the package is also a "huge, huge amount of spending" when added to the $250 billion CHIPS Act, which aims at increasing U.S. competition with China, which the Senate passed in a 64-33 vote on Wednesday and will now go to the House of Representatives for a vote.

"I would urge every House Republican after this double cross not to support that $250 billion spending bill on semiconductors," Cotton said.

A number of other leading GOP figures also criticized the bill—and Manchin—after the climate, health and tax package deal was reached.

"I can't believe that Senator Manchin is agreeing to a massive tax increase in the name of climate change when our economy is in a recession," South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said in a statement.

"I have tried to work across party lines when it makes sense, but this Democratic power grab through reconciliation will make every economic problem in America worse. Terrible deal."

McConnell tweeted: "Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation.

"Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs. First they killed your family's budget. Now they want to kill your job too."

Senator John Cornyn said: "Senate Democrats can change the name of Build Back Broke as many times as they want, it won't be any less devastating to American families and small businesses.

"Raising taxes on job creators, crushing energy producers with new regulations, and stifling innovators looking for new cures will only make this recession worse, not better."

In a lengthy statement confirming he has agreed to the deal, Manchin said the package will ultimately be good for the economy, as well as the climate.

"Rather than risking more inflation with trillions in new spending, this bill will cut the inflation taxes Americans are paying, lower the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, and ensure our country invests in the energy security and climate change solutions we need to remain a global superpower through innovation rather than elimination," Manchin said.

"Whether it is the threats to our energy security, high inflation, exploding national debt, persistent income inequality, supply chain chaos or the emergence of a new Cold War, it is time to put away the partisan swords and advance legislation that is in the best interests of the future of this nation and the American people we all represent—not just one party."

Manchin has been contacted for comment.