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(FreedomWire.org) – West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has a lot of power in the United States Senate. He doesn’t hold a leadership role, but with the Senate’s 50-50 split it means he has a lot of hold over what has a shot of passing and what doesn’t.

On gun control, he hasn’t really budged much.

In the wake of the Buffalo mass shooting, Senate Democrats want to hold a vote for gun control. The problem for them is that Manchin isn’t on board with their plans.

The racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo is putting new pressure on Democrats to consider gun-control legislation, but once again Manchin  is emerging as a problem for them.

On Tuesday, Manchin said, his old proposal negotiated with the retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) that could expand background checks for commercial transactions is the best option.

“I support the Manchin-Toomey, I’ve always done that,” he said. “The Manchin-Toomey is the one. I think if you can’t get that one, then why try to do something just for basically voting for the sake of voting?”

However, he’s right that it’s the bill with the best chance of passing an actual vote, but just barely.

Manchin can ultimately dictate what bills go where in the Senate because he’s one of the only Democrat not interested in voting in lockstep. He can’t vote in lockstep with other Democrats if he wants to hold onto his job.

That’s the saving grace of the moment because if Manchin did decide to move in lockstep, the only thing that would protect our Second Amendment rights would be the filibuster.

The truth of the matter is that while this push is happening because of Buffalo, a universal background check law wouldn’t actually have made an impact. New York already has one and, as we can see, it did nothing to stop the shooter from obtaining a firearm.

Why are Democrats trying to vote on something that isn’t going to pass anyway? It is all for show. They need to put on a performance so they can tell their base that they tried.

Thankfully, Manchin isn’t playing the game.

(FreedomWire.org) – Apparently bypassing Joe Biden, Manchin today dressed down the Secretary of State for negotiating concessions for Iran in order to access their oil production. Manchin declared himself “particularly worried” that Blinken and his team would de-list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations — especially since they’re still funding terror proxies.

Manchin stated, “I am particularly worried about reports that you might be considering removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list in the hopes that trade relations can be reestablished with Iran to assist with our energy crisis.” He went on to suggest, “Congress has the opportunity to pass additional bipartisan energy legislation to further expand our ability to deliver the energy our allies and partners need. We cannot and should not look to Iran to solve our energy problems.”

With that in mind, Manchin’s “respectful request” to have the White House provide a “detailed briefing” and an opportunity for Congress to have “due process” on the renewed Iran deal sounds like a shot across Biden’s bow. Manchin makes that almost explicit in his final point, in which he pledges to “do everything in my power to ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

In other words, Manchin’s not going to go along this time, either. One has to wonder just how many other Senate Democrats will, especially while Biden’s tapping bottom on job approval ratings and has clearly lost the confidence of the electorate.

Interestingly, Manchin doesn’t even make the best point about the idiocy of the current negotiations, which is that Biden’s working with Vladimir Putin on negotiations. That’s the same Vladimir Putin that Biden has accused of being a “war criminal,” not without justification, and called for his removal from power. An even better question than energy policy would be why Biden and Blinken are allowing Putin to craft American national-security policy at precisely the same moment that he’s threatening NATO and violating numerous treaties and conventions with his invasion of Ukraine.

(FreedomWire.org) – Speaking at a Senate hearing, West Virginia senator Joe Manchin (D) criticized the Biden administration, saying the oil and gas industry industry “needs signals from the administration that they will support oil and gas development and production.”

“We too need a realistic and reasonable plan that is responsive in the immediate term to our domestic needs and those of our allies while being forward thinking in the short term and the long term,” Manchin stated. “The first, immediate action item is to increase our domestic oil and gas production on both federal and non-federal lands. This is going to take both the administration and the industry to step up to the plate. Stop pointing fingers, take action and just get it done.”

“The administration has been pointing to 9,000 on-shore drilling permits that have already been issued for federal leases that have not yet been drilled,” he continued. “What I’m told is that while this number is a little bit higher than normal, it’s not extremely out of the ordinary, especially considering that 7,600 of the 9,000 of these permits have been extended past their initial 2-year term by the Bureau of Land Management. A leaseholder has to apply for this drilling permit months, if not more, in advance due to the review process and there is no guarantee that conditions will be right in the market or in the ground to drill with a given permit.”

He opined that oil and gas companies have been reluctant to press forward for various reasons: “With the oil prices going negative in April of 2020, and the COVID pandemic, it isn’t surprising that companies ask for extensions and slowed down over the last few years, however, as I said with the leasing pause, it is well past time for the pause to end, for well drillers and the administration to move forward. So, yes, I’m calling on industry and the shareholders to invest and put production before profits. We need you to ramp up on these existing leases and with those existing permits because that’s the fastest thing that we can do.”

But then he turned to the Biden administration: “But industry also needs signals from the administration that they will support oil and gas development and production. That includes taking concrete steps, like working on a new five-year plan for the Gulf of Mexico since we know that the current plan expires at the end of June. The Administration’s failure to act to on the five-year plan combined with the failure to appeal the vacated lease-sale means that we’re almost certainly looking at no offshore lease sales until sometime next year, to say nothing about the failure to hold onshore sales.”

He slammed the Department of the Interior: “The fact of the matter is Gulf oil is the heaviest we produce and our refineries are well calibrated for it. It makes no sense at all to me that the decision was made by Interior to not appeal a ruling throwing out the largest Gulf lease sale, particularly when that decision was made several days after Russia invaded Ukraine. We cannot take a shot-sighted approach that pretends two years with lease-sales will have no impact on our domestic oil and gas production just because the brunt of production impact from the lack of leasing hasn’t hit yet, doesn’t mean we can ignore them.”