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Ex-Joe Manchin aides lobbied his office, Congress


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) gestures as he speaks with the media following Senate Democratic lunch, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Former aides to Sen. Joe Manchin lobbied his office and others in Congress on behalf of several corporate giants in the runup to the West Virginia lawmaker declaring he wouldn’t support President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion climate and social spending bill.

At least three former aides to Manchin represented nearly a dozen corporate clients in the October-December quarter that lobbied the House and Senate on the legislation, which is known as Build Back Better, according to a CNBC review of lobbying disclosure reports. Manchin said in December he wouldn’t back the bill.

The former Manchin aides lobbied on behalf of companies such as T-Mobile, Best Buy, oil and gas driller Kinder Morgan, mining company Perpetua Resources and chemical and biofuel firm Gevo.

International food and consumer goods conglomerate Unilever, which employs a former member of Manchin’s staff as a lobbyist, engaged with the West Virginia lawmaker’s team through a letter co-signed by other corporations, the company said.

The other companies and lobbyists mentioned in this story either declined to comment or did not return requests for comment.

Senate rules say former staffers must wait a year after leaving a congressional office before lobbying their former colleagues. As far as being allowed to lobby other members of the Senate, those whose salaries were above a certain threshold aren’t free to do so.

Manchin announced on Dec. 19 that he wouldn’t vote in favor of the House-passed bill. He has recently declared the bill “dead.”

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Special interests and business leaders have ramped up their efforts to influence the conservative Democrat, who is a pivotal vote for his party in the 50-50 Senate. Similarly, several of Manchin’s former aides have picked up several lucrative clients since his vote became so critical. They’ve previously lobbied for industries such as coal, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, tobacco, and finance.

Manchin himself has seen an uptick in contributions and corporations throughout the past year as he has resisted and blocked elements of the Biden agenda.

A Manchin spokesperson did not deny that senator or his office have heard from former aides lobbying on behalf of their clients.

“Senator Manchin has very clearly articulated his policy concerns with Build Back Better which are rooted in rising inflation, the ongoing pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty around the world and the risk our rising national debt poses to the stability of important programs like Medicare and Social Security,” the spokesperson said. “He hears often from West Virginia families who are feeling the squeeze as the effects of costly inflation taxes strain their budget and takes their concerns seriously when making decisions in Washington.”

Lobbying on BBB

Unilever, which owns…


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Ex-Joe Manchin aides lobbied his office, Congress