Senate Republicans who supported the China Competition bill are sobering up after Sen. Joe Manchin announced a tax-and-spending deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, but they say they regret their votes.
“I think it’s a bad idea, it’s going to make inflation worse,” Sen said. Lindsay Graham, RS.C., Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., said Thursday of Manchin and Schumer’s plan to move forward through a policy tool called reconciliation. “It has bad faith.”
But when asked if he regrets voting for the China bill, Graham said, “It’s not that I regret it, it’s because — we, you know, it’s a problem.”
Earlier this month, Republicans threatened to kill the China Competition Bill — which is stuck in committee — as long as Democrats continue to work on passing a party-line social policy bill through reconciliation. But after Manchin, DW.Va., made a statement to pour cold water on efforts to include climate, energy and tax provisions in the law, Sen. Top Republicans, including Rep. John Cornyn, R-Texas, have green-lighted the China bill.
House passes China competition bill, sending it to President Biden’s desk
Hours after the Senate cleared the China bill, also known as CHIPS, on Wednesday, Manchin and Schumer, DNY., announced an all-provisions package including more than $400 billion in spending and $739 billion in tax increases.
Cornyn blasted Manchin in a conversation with reporters Thursday, saying such a move from Manchin and Democrats would be “poison in the well” of cooperation.
“It’s a complete flip-flop. He was against everything he said, now he’s in favor,” Cornyn said. “I wonder what the deal was that made him say yes.”
I worry when people look you in the eye and want to lie. But that’s a lesson learned, it won’t happen again
Biden urges Congress to approve Manchin deal ‘far from perfect’: ‘Put politics aside, get it done’
Cornyn said, “I’m sorry when people look you in the eye and want to tell you lies. But that’s a lesson learned, it won’t happen again.” He argued that although the China Bill and the Reconciliation Bill were clearly linked a few weeks ago, they were “not connected”.
“The CHIPS bill is necessary to address the existential threat to our economy and our national security, and it stands on its own merits,” Cornyn said.
Asked how he connected them earlier, Cornyn said, “There was a statement in the past that they weren’t trying to raise taxes. … They misrepresented that. But that doesn’t mean the CHIPS bill isn’t important.”
Manchin, Schumer agree to a largely pared-back version of Build Back Better
Manchin, meanwhile, told reporters Thursday that he didn’t think he was too quick to pounce on Republicans.
“No. You know, I’m sure they don’t think so. I mean, I get that they are, but I don’t know why,” he said.
The senator also defended the substance of the bill and said Republicans should support it regardless of partisanship.
What’s in the Manchin-Schumer Tax Hike and Climate Change Bill?
“I hope they look at it with clear lenses,” Manchin said.
Sen. Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, whose state is expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the China bill, blamed the Schumer-Manchin deal. But, he said, “CHIPS is very important to Ohio.”
Sen. Rep. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., said he was “very disappointed in the backsliding that took place.” But he said he wouldn’t engage in “speculation” if he voted for the China bill if he knew Schumer and Manchin were going to announce a deal.
Democrats, meanwhile, say their bill will help the economy, lower inflation and better position the US for the 21st century.
Click here to get the Fox News app
“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 makes a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation and invest. Domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 40% by 2030,” Schumer and Manchin said in a joint statement.
“This is the act the American people have been waiting for. It will address today’s problems — high health care costs and overall inflation — as well as invest in our energy security for the future,” President Biden said of the bill in a statement. on wednesday
The Senate is expected to begin floor proceedings on the Manchin-Schumer deal next week.
Fox News’ Kelly Faures contributed to this report.