Politico

Manchin says Dems 'need to pay for' their multitrillion-dollar spending plans


As Senate Democrats deliberate how many trillions of dollars to spend on President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, Joe Manchin is drawing a line against more deficit financing.

The West Virginia moderate said in a Tuesday interview that he wants Democrats’ spending package to be fully financed, potentially constraining liberals’ hopes to spend as much as $6 trillion on new programs. Manchin said he was not going to choose a number for his fellow Democrats but made plain he wants Congress to ensure the bill is fully financed.

“We need to pay for it,” Manchin said. “I’d like to pay for all of it. I don’t think we need more debt.”

Democrats are planning to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for new childcare, education and climate change programs, and Manchin is on board with that plan in concept. But he wants smaller tax increases on both corporate taxes and capital gains for wealthy earners than Biden and the rest of the party do.

Manchin has suggested rates of 25 percent for corporate earners and 28 percent for capital gains. More modest tax increases would curtail the size of the bill if Manchin and other moderates insist on avoiding any more deficit spending in the forthcoming mega-legislation, which Democrats are planning to steer to passage without GOP buy-in using the budget process.

His comments come as Senate Budget Committee Democrats prepare to huddle again Tuesday to try and settle on a top line spending number. Privately some Democrats expect the party to settle on a level just short of $4 trillion.

But Manchin wouldn’t say whether or not that’s too much for him and his hopes of paying for any big spending package: “I’ve heard so many different numbers. In all honesty in respect to the people doing the hard work, I say when I see the final product I can make an evaluation,” Manchin said.

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