Denver Post: ‘one of Colorado’s U.S. senators is…being heralded as “essential” to its breakthrough.’
Colorado Sun’s Mike Littwin: ‘Hickenlooper never gave up on Manchin. Could that really be why Manchin never gave up on the climate bill?’
In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper took to the airwaves to welcome the news of a deal on the Inflation Reduction Act, Senate Democrats’ reconciliation bill to lower health care costs and fight climate change. In interviews with The Denver Post, Denver 7, NPR’s Weekend Edition, and MSNBC, Hickenlooper praised the deal and called it the “single biggest investment in climate rescue by any country, ever.”
Here’s what Coloradans are reading:
Environmental groups, national media cite the recently elected Democrat as key to finding path forward on a bill previously declared dead
“A lot of people gave up a couple of weeks ago, when Joe Manchin said he had enough and he wasn’t going to keep working on it,” Hickenlooper said in an interview with the Denver Post Thursday. “And yet every time I talked to him, he said he was committed to still trying to find a solution.”
He said their offices communicated daily. Hickenlooper enlisted economists from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to model how the bill would have nil effect on current inflation, and even a slight deflationary effect over 10 years as families paid less for energy costs and knocked off $300 billion from the national deficit.
In the end, the bill is poised to deliver “the largest climate rescue investment in the history of the planet,” Hickenlooper said. He added that it’s smaller than what many experts say is needed, but hoped it would establish the United States as a climate leader and spur rivals like China to invest in their own climate reduction initiatives to keep up.
“There was no alternative” but to keep talking, Hick said in a news conference Friday. But there was — it was surrender. Until the day Hick’s staff got the Wharton School — Penn’s famed business school — to study the present bill and come back with the prediction that it would actually reduce inflation and not increase it, nothing seemed to move Manchin. Or maybe it was something else that moved Manchin. In any case, Hick is getting a lot of credit for help in the compromise. And suddenly, privately, Manchin said to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he was ready to talk again.
“It’s the most important thing that I’ve ever been close to,” Hick said of the last-ditch deal.
But when Manchin recently told reporters, “I’m done,” it looked as if he meant it this time. Still, Hick said that in all the time that he had talked to Manchin and his staff had talked to Manchin’s staff, Manchin would always say the door wasn’t completely closed. And eventually Manchin went to Schumer with a bid to reopen negotiations.
Hickenlooper: “The deal was all but dead. ‘There are a couple of us who just said ‘no,’ this is too important, too big a deal to give up. So we’re just going to keep plugging away…You just can’t quit,’ said Hickenlooper…
Ogden: “Hickenlooper tells us the deal is the single largest jolt to climate rescue in the history of the world.”
Simon: “There’s a new bill in town. It’s called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. And if it becomes law, Democrats say it would reduce the deficit, cut federal spending on prescription drugs and provide hundreds of billions of dollars to help the country address climate change. The package contains the most substantial climate legislation in U.S. history.
Hickenlooper: “This is without question the most significant climate rescue initiative in the history of the world. No other country has made this kind of a commitment to really taking climate rescue and accelerating it quickly.”
Mohyeldin: “You had an integral role in getting Senators Schumer and Manchin back to the negotiating table on reconciliation.”
Hickenlooper: “Let’s be clear, Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin are the ones that negotiated it. I just tried to be the positive, the optimistic force that anytime there was disruptions I tried to push through them and make sure that everybody else was coming along. For a while there, Democrats all over the country were giving up. And it was just too important for us to give up.”
Hickenlooper: “This is the first comprehensive step to take climate change head on… We’ve done so much but there’s still more to be done.”