After a press conference held by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) pointed out that the right-wing Democrat’s grievances against the reconciliation bill are hypocritical and based on pretense.
After a brief press conference, he did not answer any questions. Manchin complained about the potential cost of the reconciliation bill, urging his colleagues to postpone consideration of the bill until its impact on the deficit — if any — is scored. “I will not support a reconciliation package that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our $29 trillion in national debt,” he said. He also said that the bipartisan legislation on infrastructure, which he helped negotiate, should be up for a vote shortly.
Sanders, who is Senate Budget Committee chair, pointed out to reporters after the conference that Manchin’s own infrastructure bill would add to the national debt. “The infrastructure bill runs up a $250 billion deficit over a 10-year period,” Sanders said, citing the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that the bill would add $256 billion to the deficit. “It’s not paid for.”
On the other hand, the reconciliation bill is fully paid for, according to legislators’ estimates. “The legislation that I want to see passed, which includes lowering the cost of prescription drugs, expanding Medicare, including paid family and medical leave, is paid for in its entirety,” Sanders said. “It will not have an impact on inflation.”
The most recent draft of the reconciliation bill from the White HouseIncludes $1.75 trillion in climate, health care, and childcare investments. The government would be able to come out on top with almost $2 trillion in offsets such as a minimum corporate income tax and investments in IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to prevent tax fraud.
Ironically, the reconciliation measure is expected to net around $250 billion over 10 years. This is close to enough to pay for any deficit the infrastructure bill would create. Manchin opposed the original bill draft, which was valued at $3.5 trillion. It was also fully funded. Of course, Manchin still won’t commit to voting for the Build Back Better Act, despite getting nearly everything he demanded in negotiations.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-California) has condemned Manchin’s opposition to the bill’s price tag, Say it, “I think it’s dead-on fiscally irresponsible for Senator Manchin to refuse to raise revenue and at the same time out of the other side of his mouth — maybe the side of his mouth that he uses to talk to his corporate donors — complain that we can’t pay for the things that American families desperately need.”
With the inclusion of key provisions, the reconciliation bill has the potential to be transformative for the country’s social safety net and in reducing carbon emissions — and considering Manchin’s support of other costly proposals, his stance on the bill is hypocritical.
Manchin voted to approve over $9 trillionIn defense spending over the last ten years and is Fighting for inclusionSubsidies for the fossil fuel industry have been estimated at $121 billion. He’s also opposed key proposals like raising taxes on corporations, a billionaire taxAnd IRS reform plansAll of which would help offset costs associated with the reconciliation bill.
Under his leadership, the bipartisan group flourished That was when he was negotiating for the infrastructure billRefused Nearly allof the measures that would have been used to fund the infrastructure bill, leaving half the new spending unaccounted.
Some commentators have pointed out that by focusing onInstead of the taxation and deficit, consider the Massively popularManchin also contains transformative proposals. has been eluded having to announce his opposition to many of the bill’s most sought-after proposals.