Manchin Defends Decision to Support Massive New Spending

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend to defend his decision to support a new massive federal spending bill by compromising with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and potentially handing Joe Biden a legislative win in advance of the upcoming midterms.

Even though he admitted to host Bret Baier that he was wrong about the inflationary effects of the American Rescue Plan, he promised this time the massive spending will not make inflation worse or raise American taxes.

Baier asked Manchin why Americans should believe him now when he says that even more federal spending will not exacerbate inflation. All Manchin could say was, “Bottom line, I’ll make sure I didn’t make that mistake again.”

Manchin was emphatic in his argument that the new bill will not raise taxes for anyone. He said that “all it does is close loopholes.” Watchdog groups like Americans for Tax Reform say that the bill absolutely raises taxes.

Manchin told Baier that he had been doubtful that he would reach an agreement with Schumer to support the bill. He added that he only did so when he “made sure there were no tax increases whatsoever.”

Democrats have euphemistically named the bill the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. It is a scaled-down version of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act that stalled out in the Senate. The original bill would have cost around $3 trillion. The new version is estimated to cost around $433 billion.

The tax provisions of the new bill include a new 15% corporate minimum tax for businesses worth more than $1 billion, which is expected to raise $313 billion. It also funds more aggressive tax collection and enforcement by the IRS which is estimated to bring in $124 billion. It will also close the “carried interest loophole” which is claimed will raise $14 billion.

Manchin insisted that all of those provisions do not amount to any tax increases, sticking to the “closing loopholes” talking point.

Baier also asked the senator about the bill’s plan to subsidize electric vehicle purchases for anyone earning less than $300,000 per year. Critics claim the law will act to force average Americans to fund electric vehicle purchases by the wealthy.

Manchin blasted the concept in the past, noting that high existing demand for electric cars makes incentives unnecessary. He claimed on Sunday that he still believes that, but now believes that the bill is now about supporting domestic vehicle manufacturers. He based that on a provision that says subsidized batteries must be made in the U.S. and not in China.

Now that Schumer and Biden appear to have Manchin on board, they will have to work overtime to attempt to secure the full 50 votes needed in the Senate quickly if they want to see the bill passed in the near future, as the summer recess is scheduled to begin on Friday.