Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, W.Va., says he will not change his mind on the policy disagreements he has with the Biden administration and the progressive wing of his party, standing firm on his call for U.S. energy independence while decrying big spending as inflation rages.
The senator joined FOX Business' "Kudlow" on Tuesday, where he reiterated his push for the U.S. to ban Russian oil imports in wake of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and to allow American energy producers to replace it.
Manchin touted his plan to increase domestic energy production, pointing out that U.S. oil production is down by a million barrels a day while imports from Russia went up 20% last year over 2020.
The Democrat has called on the Biden administration to allow American energy producers to ramp up production as gas prices continue to soar, and told host Larry Kudlow that he still believes the U.S. should build the Keystone XL pipeline that President Biden shut down on his first day in office.
Manchin also expressed frustration over what he says is overreach by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under the Biden administration, which he says is making it "extremely difficult if not impossible" for the U.S. to put in pipelines for transporting natural gas. He noted that the Senate Energy Committee, which he chairs, will be questioning the commission's five members during a hearing on Thursday morning.
The West Virginia senator went on to reiterate that he remains in opposition to the Biden administration's push for trillions in further spending amid 40-year high inflation, which he called "the biggest detriment we have to society today."
Regarding his policy differences with the Biden administration, Manchin said, "We can agree to disagree."
Kudlow noted that Biden pushed many of the social spending initiatives from his Build Back Better agenda during his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday, and asked Manchin if would continue to oppose the trillions in new spending being floated by the administration.
Manchin replied, "I haven't changed, Larry, I can't change."