Joe Manchin Gives a Hint on Skinny Build Back Better: Fix Tax Code

  • Senator Joe Manchin just gave a hint about what he wants to see in a new spending bill.
  • He told reporters on Wednesday, “Just fix the tax code. Just fix the taxes.
  • Manchin said he wanted to roll back the 2017 tax cuts, but Senator Kyrsten Sinema opposed raising some taxes.

It’s sometimes hard to know what’s going through Sen. Joe Manchin’s head, but he seems to have some brain taxes.

On Wednesday, the elusive West Virginia senator reiterated one of his familiar priorities for a future spending bill that Democrats possibly want to tinker with.

“Just fix the tax code,” he told reporters. “Just fixing the taxes.”

He also said earlier that there had been no major discussions to revive President Biden’s sprawling social and climate spending bill, known as Build Back Better. Manchin spoke out against the $2 trillion package in December, sinking it in the Senate 50-50.

“There are a lot of people talking, but I don’t have serious discussions with anyone directly about what you’re all referring to,” he said. Manchin has since taken a leading role in negotiations on efforts to forge a bipartisan agreement on electoral reforms.

At the end of last year, Manchin noted he voted to advance an earlier version of the party-line bill because his top priority was rolling back the 2017 Republican tax cuts. He had often said he wanted to raise the rate of corporation tax at 25% from its current level of 21%.

But Manchin’s central focus for the package was derailed by another Democratic holdout: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Insider reported last fall that she opposed raising corporate and personal tax rates, dealing a blow to the party’s efforts to raise taxes on America’s wealthiest and big business.

Senate Democrats can’t afford to lose the votes of either lawmaker to a unified Republican opposition, underscoring their outsized influence over the size and scope of Biden’s economic agenda. It’s a precarious position that has already put Build Back Better on hold for now.

In one December radio interview with West Virginia MetroNews, he said he sought to “fix the taxes so that everyone pays their fair share”.

“We have a chance, okay? You have a chance to fix the tax code that makes it fair and just,” Manchin said. “So if we all disagree with the Republican reconciliation on tax cuts, don’t you think we can sit down and fix a fair and just tax code?”

Manchin has also repeatedly expressed concerns about rising inflation, which has hit its highest level in 40 years. A combination of persistent labor shortages and supply chain bottlenecks is driving up prices across the board from groceries, gas and housing.


Federal Reserve

is responsible for keeping inflation at manageable levels by increasing the cost of borrowing. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently signaled that an interest rate hike could come as early as March, Insider’s Ben Winck reported.

Asked by Insider if he could support government spending more after an interest rate hike, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia pointed to the country’s growing debt load.

“We all have to be fiscally responsible when you see the debt has grown to $30 trillion,” Manchin said. “All the obligations that we have with Medicare, Medicaid and reliance on our retirees and all that. There are so many tax responsibilities – we have to get our house in order first.”

The country’s debt problem is not so simple, according to Powell. The Fed chairman told lawmakers in January that the risk was not so much debt as government spending. With rates set to start climbing soon, the country’s immense borrowing will need to be scrutinized, Powell said.

“The debt is not at an unsustainable level, but the path is unsustainable, which means it is growing faster than the economy,” he said during his January 11 confirmation hearing in the Senate. . “We have to sort that out over time.”

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