What Joe Manchin wants the Home Policy Bill to look like

WASHINGTON – If West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III were to run the world, the Democrats’ branded home policy bill would be very diffe...


WASHINGTON – If West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III were to run the world, the Democrats’ branded home policy bill would be very different from what President Biden and the Main Democrats have proposed.

And in an equally divided Senate, where Democrats need the support of each of their members to push through the package, Mr Manchin – one of his party’s only holdouts on the bill – might as well be king.

Mr Manchin did not hesitate to lay out what he wants: a measure much cheaper, less generous, more targeted and less respectful of the environment than that envisaged by Mr Biden and the Democrats.

His wishes and concerns largely guide the negotiations on what the final package should look like. Emphasizing his place in the debate, Mr Manchin and Mr Biden spoke by phone on Monday, according to a person familiar with the call. The senator also met privately with Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to discuss the plan. And Mr Manchin told reporters he had met Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent and chairman of the Budget Committee, who was particularly critical of Mr Manchin’s views.

Talks will continue on Tuesday, when the White House plans another round of meetings with moderate and liberal Democrats to try to find consensus.

Here’s what Mr. Manchin has in mind.

Mr Manchin insisted he didn’t want the bill to cost more than $ 1.5 trillion over a decade, $ 2 trillion less than the package Democrats included in their plan. budgetary.

“Congress must proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for reckless expansion of government programs,” he said in a statement Friday.

In public and private, Manchin has said he fears too much additional spending now will exacerbate already high inflation. At a time when much of his party brushed aside concerns about growing federal debt, he said the government needed to cut borrowing.

He wants any new spending in the plan to be paid for through tax increases. And in a summer memo outlining his priorities, Mr Manchin said the package is expected to generate additional revenue that should be used to reduce the deficit.

Mr Manchin has called for more tax increases than many in his party, focusing on generating the money needed to fully pay the regime.

Most notably, while Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another obstacle to the bill, has so far resisted the scale of tax increases proposed by the Biden administration, Mr Manchin has openly called reverse many of the tax cuts adopted by Republicans in 2017..

In his memo this summer, Manchin described a series of tax increases, including increasing the corporate tax rate to 25% from 21%, increasing the personal income rate from 37%. % to 39.6% and the increase in the capital gains tax rate to 28%. .

In recent days, it has become clear that a proposed clean electricity program to replace coal and gas-fired power plants with solar, nuclear and wind power will most likely be abandoned of the package due to Mr. Manchin’s opposition.

Instead, White House officials and congressional staff gather around a possible tax on carbon dioxide pollution or a voluntary version of a cap-and-trade program to create a market for polluters to buy and sell allowances for a certain amount of emissions.

They also plan to add to the $ 300 billion in tax incentives and clean energy credits that are left in the bill, while looking for ways to save parts of the clean electricity program. Mr Manchin has previously said he is open to such taxes and tax credits, provided fossil fuel tax credits are not repealed.

“We want to make sure we have reliable power,” he told reporters. “We have fundamentally cleaned up the environment more than at any time in the history of this world.”

M. Manchin, of whom product state some of the highest levels of coal and natural gas nationwide, has long been opposed to anything that would punish companies for not switching more quickly to clean energy.

Mr. Manchin has long worried about the possibility of creating what he called “a society of rights” with a vast web of universal benefits. Sometimes he pushed either to limit benefits to those who need them most – an approach known as means test – or to impose work requirements on some of the programs.

He has not said publicly how he would apply a means test to the package, which could vary depending on the program. A Axios report said he had told the White House he wanted to limit a program providing monthly payments to families with children to parents earning around $ 60,000 or less, and impose a work obligation. (A spokeswoman for Mr Manchin declined to comment on the report’s accuracy.)

Mr Manchin has been successful in pushing Democrats to cut such programs in the past. He single-handedly delayed action on a $ 1.9 trillion pandemic assistance plan this year until the Biden administration and party leaders agree to reduce unemployment benefits and impose a stricter income limit on eligibility for another round of direct payments.

Jim Tankersley and Davenport Coral contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What Joe Manchin wants the Home Policy Bill to look like
What Joe Manchin wants the Home Policy Bill to look like
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