Manchin touts inflation reduction bill, says ‘I’m not getting involved’ in upcoming elections

Energy News

Sen. Joe Manchin in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and his staff told Democratic leadership on Thursday that he’s not willing to support major climate and tax provisions in a sweeping Biden agenda bill, according to a Democrat briefed on the conversations.
Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., made the morning talk show rounds on Sunday to talk about the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a revival of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better economic bill that collapsed earlier this year.

The inflation bill, which Democrats are attempting to pass through reconciliation, aims to reform the tax code, cut health-care costs and fight climate change. It will invest more than $400 billion over a decade by closing tax loopholes, mostly on the largest and richest American corporations. It would also reduce the deficit by $300 billion in the same decade-long timeframe.

“This is all about fighting inflation,” Manchin told Jonathan Karl on Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC.

Manchin insisted that the bill isn’t a spending bill, but instead is focusing on investing money.

“We’ve taken $3.5 trillion of spending down to $400 billion of investing without raising any taxes whatsoever, we closed some loopholes, didn’t raise any taxes,” he added.

He further explained the closing of tax loopholes, which will raise taxes on certain American companies. Any tax increase could jeopardize full Democratic support of the legislation, which it needs to pass through reconciliation – Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-A.Z., may not support this provision.

“The only thing we have done is basically say that every corporation of a billion dollars of value or greater in America should pay at least 15% of minimum corporate tax,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“That’s not a tax increase it’s closing a loophole,” he said.

Manchin also noted that a deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D- N.Y., and he was struck in private to avoid drama.

“We’ve been negotiating off and on very quietly because I didn’t know if it would ever come to fruition,” he said. “I didn’t want to go through the drama that eight months ago we went through for so long.”

Manchin added that he’s struck an agreement with Democratic leaders to support the bill in exchange for taking on permitting reform later.

“If I don’t fulfill my commitment promise that I will vote and support this bill with all my heart, there are consequences, and there are consequences on both sides,” he said on “Meet the Press.”

Manchin also noted that the bill will especially target energy prices in the U.S. by upping production and using clean energy effectively.

“Inflation is the greatest challenge we have in our country right now,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If you want to get gasoline prices down, produce more and produce it in America.”

Manchin dodges election talk

During his Sunday interviews, Manchin repeatedly evaded answering questions about who he supports in upcoming elections – the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election.

“I’m not getting involved in any election right now,” he said on “State of the Union.”

He reiterated that he would work with anyone that voters elect and specifically wouldn’t answer if he wants Democrats to keep control of Congress come November.

“Whatever the voters choose,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “Whoever you send me that’s your representative and I respect them.”

When specifically asked if he’d support Biden in reelection, he focused on Biden’s current presidency.

“Whoever is my president, that’s my president, and Joe Biden is my president right now,” he said on “This Week.”

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