Manchin claims the Democratic social spending and tax bill are full of GOP priorities
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As Democrats prepare to advance their tax and welfare bill through a party-line budget reconciliation process, one of its top sponsors, Sen. Joe Manchin, says he thinks Republicans should, too. agreement
Manchin, DW.Va., struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the legislation last week, which would spend $433 billion and raise $739 billion in tax revenue, according to the Democrats.
It is unclear whether the bill will pass with the support of all 50 Democrats. But Republicans are against it, arguing it amounts to reckless taxation and spending during a recession.
MANCHIN HAS ‘GOOD TALK’ WITH SINEMA, BUT WILL NOT DISCUSS DETAILS ON FATE OF SOCIAL SPENDING AND TAX BILL
Manchin, however, says they are being blinded by partisanship and would agree to the bill if Congress weren’t so polarized.
“What I talk to my Republican friends about, they always want to make sure that: We just have to have more energy. Well, guess what? We’re going to have a lot more,” Manchin told Fox News Digital on Thursday. . “We’re going to drill a lot more … We’re going to build more gas lines to take the energy. And we’re going to invest in the future, energy for the future.”
“They always say, ‘well, we want to pay down the debt.’ Well, we’re paying down $300 billion for the first time in 25 years,” Manchin added. “And then they say, ‘you know what, we just need to change the permitting processes, so we can do things faster and better in America.’ We do that too.”
Manchin’s bill is the result of more than a year of negotiations on legislation that was originally called “Build Back Better.” Now titled the “Inflation Reduction Act,” it has been scaled back massively from the initial reconciliation proposals of more than $3 trillion.
The legislation includes provisions on fossil fuel energy, climate and green energy, prescription drugs, the Affordable Care Act and the tax code. Manchin’s deal with Schumer also included a pledge by top Democrats in Congress to pass oil reform before the end of September.
Meanwhile, Republicans say the bill will hurt the economy and middle-class families just as the United States has slipped into recession. They cite data from the Joint Committee on Taxation showing that almost all income groups will feel the burden of the new taxes, even if indirectly. And they say the taxes will disproportionately hurt manufacturers, just after Congress passed legislation aimed at boosting semiconductor chip manufacturing in the United States.
MANCHIN’S VOTES closely align with SCHUMER, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WARREN, SANDERS, despite moderate representation.
“The people who work in these companies, and remember that half will go to the manufacturers, will see their wages and benefits cut because of these taxes at a time when they are struggling to keep up with current affairs. inflation,” Senator Rob Portman. R-Ohio, he said at a news conference Wednesday
Manchin’s comments about Republicans come as he is still trying to get all Democrats on board with his legislation. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is the most prominent proponent of the bill.
A spokesperson for Sinema’s office told Fox News Digital that the senator is waiting for the Byrd Bath process to conclude before deciding on the bill. The Byrd Bath is when the Senate parliamentarian reviews legislation to ensure that all of its provisions conform to the Byrd Rule, which governs reconciliation bills. It requires the elements of the bill to be fiscal in nature and not purely political matters.
Sinema and Manchin spoke at length on the Senate floor Thursday.
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Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is also a holdout. He said Thursday that he is undecided about the bill and will also wait until the Byrd Bath is finished.
Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate is expected to take a procedural vote to begin debate on the reconciliation bill Saturday afternoon. This probably means that he anticipates that the Byrd Bath process will end then. It also sets a deadline for undecideds, especially Sinema, to make a decision on whether to support the legislation.
“I sure hope so, you always hope so,” Manchin said when asked by Fox News Digital if Democrats will have the bill ready for a vote on Saturday. “I always hope for the best, let’s put it that way.”