© 2022 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sens. Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski have tested positive for COVID-19

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) at a Senate hearing last week.
Anna Moneymaker
Getty Images
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) at a Senate hearing last week.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia, has tested positive for COVID-19, he tweeted Monday.

"This morning I tested positive for COVID-19," he said. "I am fully vaccinated and boosted and am experiencing mild symptoms. I will isolate and follow CDC guidelines as I continue to work remotely to serve West Virginians."

Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, said earlier this month he would not support major climate change spending right now due to inflation, but said he is open to negotiations at a later time.

Manchin's position comes a little more than a year after President Biden pledged to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030.

Democrats are trying to advance several pieces of legislation this week before heading out on August recess. One of those is a reduced version of the president's economic agenda focused on healthcare spending. That measure is being passed through the process known as budget reconciliation, which would require all members of the Democratic caucus present to pass. So Manchin's absence on top of that of Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, recovering from a fall, and the uncertain return of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, risks delaying that bill.

They are also attempting to pass a bill to boost domestic production of semiconductors, which has some Republican support, so it's unclear whether these Democratic absences are a hurdle or a roadblock for that bill.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie