Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who along with Sen. Krysten Sinema has served as a “moderate” block on every progressive piece of Democratic legislation so far under President Joe Biden, indicated on Thursday that he is “open” to the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation proposal put together by the members of his party, the first sign that progress is underway in budget talks.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 14, 2021
Manchin was asked by reporters for comments on the budget proposal, which has been stymied since Manchin first nixed the idea of raising the corporate tax rate, which is currently at a historic low as a result of the policies of Donald Trump. Despite promises that the low tax rate would benefit the middle class, the policies have done nothing more than widen the wealth gap and cut funding for needed programs.
‘I heard about it this morning or late last night from my staff. So, we’re anxious to basically review it. They worked hard on it, we want to see it. Also, I’ve been very clear that I want to see the pay-fors and make sure that whatever we do is globally competitive…I’m open to looking at everything they provide. OK? They’re going to have to provide all the information that’s going to be needed. They worked hard, they should have a proposal.’
.@BernieSanders on the Reconciliation Bill: "I wish that the rest of the Senate held my political views, but they don't. […] There is 50 of us in the Senate, some more conservative than the others." pic.twitter.com/duC9YnUjtP
— The Hill (@thehill) July 15, 2021
Manchin insists that the budget cost must be paid for without raising new taxes, which some Democrats working on the proposal have promised to do. However, common sense tax reforms have also been offered to offset costs.
‘Progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.) and her allies have proposed a 2 percent annual tax on households with a net worth of between $50 billion and $1 billion and a 1 percent annual surtax on households and trusts worth more than $1 billion. It would raise an estimated $3 trillion over 10 years.’
BREAKING ; @Sen_JoeManchin is open to $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill but not on board yet. He says he needs it paid for and for global competitiveness not to be hurt by tax hikes
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) July 14, 2021
The proposal includes funding for Democratic wishlist items like expanding Medicare to cover vision and dental treatment and eliminating the income cap for Social Security taxes. However, Manchin was not ready to fully commit to the proposal at this time.
‘I don’t have any information, so it’s going to take me a bit to sort through that. I’m not saying no, but I’m not saying yes either. So it’s going to take a little bit, $3.5 trillion is a shit-pile of dough.’
Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Jon Tester said they're not yet on board with the $3.5 trillion tax and spending deal that Budget Committee Democrats reached late Tuesday night. https://t.co/8DCpOFFX3E
— Bloomberg Government (@BGOV) July 14, 2021