As Democrats prepare to advance their social spending and tax bill through the party-line budget reconciliation process, one of its key sponsors, Sen. Joe Manchin has said that Republicans also want to help.
Manchin, DW.Va., struck a deal last week with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on legislation that would raise $433 billion in spending. $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 in lockstep against it, arguing it amounts to reckless taxing and spending during a recession.
Manchin makes ‘nice talk’ with the film but won’t discuss details on social spending and the fate of the tax bill
Manchin, however, said they are blinded by partisanship and would be on board with the bill if Congress wasn’t so polarized.
“The thing I talk to my Republican friends about, they always want to make sure — we have more power. Well, guess what? We’ll have a lot more,” Manchin told Fox News Digital Thursday. “We’re going to drill a lot more… we’re going to build some more gas lines to take energy. And we’re going to invest in the future, energy for the future.”
“They always say, ‘Well, we want to pay off the debt.’ We’re paying $300 billion for the first time in 25 years,” Manchin said. We do the same.”
Manchin’s bill is the product of more than a year of negotiations on legislation that was originally called “Build Back Better.” Now titled the “Inflation Reduction Act,” it was drastically reduced from the original $3 trillion-plus reconciliation proposal.
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 promise from top congressional Democrats to pass oil permit reform before the end of September.
On the other hand, Republicans say that this bill will damage the economy and middle-class families at a time when America has entered a recession. They cite the Joint Committee on Taxation data, which shows that almost every income bracket will indirectly feel the burden of the new taxes. After Congress passed legislation aimed at boosting US semiconductor chip manufacturing, the taxes would disproportionately hurt manufacturers, they said.
Manchin’s votes are close to those of Schumer, liberal Democrats Warren and Sanders, despite being portrayed as moderates.
“The people who work in these companies — and remember that half falls on the manufacturers — will see their wages and benefits cut because of these taxes at a time when they’re struggling to keep current. Inflation,” Sen. Rob Portman. R-Ohio said at a press conference Wednesday
Manchin’s comments against Republicans came as he tried to get all Democrats to pass his legislation. Sen. Kirsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is the most high-profile holdout on the bill.
A spokesperson for Cinema’s office told Fox News Digital that the senator is waiting for the Byrd Bath process to conclude before making a decision on the bill. A Byrd bath is when a Senate parliamentarian combs through legislation to ensure that all its provisions conform to the Byrd Rule governing reconciliation bills. This requires that the items in the Bill are economic in nature and not purely policy matters.
Cinema and Manchin spoke at length on the Senate floor Thursday.
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Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont still a holdout. He said on Thursday that no decision has been taken on the bill and we will wait until Byreddy Bath is completed.
Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate expects to take a procedural vote to begin debate on the reconciliation bill on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it means that he expected the Baird bath process to be over by then. It also sets a deadline for any undecideds — especially the film — to decide whether they support the legislation.
“I sure hope so, you always hope so,” Manchin said when asked by Fox News Digital if Democrats would have the bill ready for a vote by Saturday. “I always hope for the best, let’s keep it that way.”