Sen. Manchin tries to defend reconciliation package

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks about their bill to ban Russian energy imports, Thursday, March 3, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks about their bill to ban Russian energy imports, Thursday, March 3, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

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UPDATED 4:00 PM PT – Friday, July 29, 2022

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) responded to the backlash he’s received for striking a deal on a reconciliation package.

“I’ve never reversed,” Manchin said. “I’ve never been in reverse in my lifetime and I never walked away.”

Senator Manchin defended his controversial decision to strike a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on a sweeping reconciliation package called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 which they said will lower the deficit by over $300 billion over a period of 10 years.

In a video released on Thursday, Manchin described the new legislation as a quote win-win for the US. The bill will invest over $369 billion into fighting so-called climate change and extend Obamacare subsidies over the next three years.

“So, I think it’s a win-win here, but people are all getting hyped up,” he voiced. “It might help the Democrats and I’m a Republican so I’ve got to be against it. Come on, guys. We’re Americans. Look at the bill, it’s a good bill. It’s a Democrat and Republican bill.”

Additionally, he claimed the bill would not raise taxes on anybody though it would impose a 15 percent minimum corporate tax and close so-called tax loop holes for big corporations. The legislation is also estimated to raise another $124 billion by bolstering the IRS to go after tax cheats.

“We don’t raise taxes on anybody and anybody that says we’re raising taxes by putting a minimum of 15 percent corporate tax on corporations, the largest corporations have $1 million of book value or greater that that’s going to be inflammatory,” the West Virginia senator stated. “I don’t think many of us can figure out why. When we reduced it from 35 to 21 in 2017, that tax cut was cut by 14 percent so that people weren’t paying at least 15 percent or supposedly paying 21. If someone’s upset they weren’t paying anything please come forward and tell us why you were able to have this great country protect you and give you these opportunities. You didn’t have to pay anything into it.”

He then went on to claim the legislation will keep the fossil fuel industry strong despite measures to make large investments into so-called climate change programs.

“This is a bill that keeps the fossil industry and keeps the country in a very strong position until those new technologies kick in, whenever that may be,” he expressed. “That transition will happen when whatever you have that you’re using, you’ve got something better to replace it with and can do just as well. If not better, cheaper prices. The market takes over.”

The package will be put to a vote on the senate floor next week.

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