“I’m not for that, I’ve never been for that and I’ve told them I’m not for that,” Manchin said when asked about talk that Democrats are weighing a budget process to pass a massive infrastructure proposal along party lines. “The bottom line is this place has got to have a chance to work. … So Joe Biden, the President of the United States, is going to give us a chance and he said, ‘OK, try to make it work.’ Can’t we at least try? Can’t we at least let the committee do its work? Let it go to the floor?”
Manchin did praise the President for his tone and delivery of his speech Wednesday to a joint session of Congress.
“It was a good delivery, a very good delivery,” he said. “The President put a lot out there, gave people a lot of their hope. The tone is what we needed for our country.”
But he made clear his concerns about key elements of the Biden plan, including calls to raise taxes on capital gains, as well as the trillions in new spending envisioned by the White House.
“The bottom line is there’s a lot of need in our country. There’s a lot of opportunities in the country that are coming and basically we’re coming out of this pandemic with a booming economy,” Manchin said. “The bottom line is that, let’s look at what we’re doing that can have long-lasting effects. The tax reforms. I think we need to have tax reform. I thought (the GOP’s 2017 tax legislation) was the wrong direction to go. But we can’t overreach to the point to where we stymie investments, we stymie basically growth for 2022, 23, 24 and on.”
Asked about the massive price tag, Manchin said: “It’s a lot. it’s a lot … Here’s the thing. We’ve got 1.9 trillion that hasn’t gone out the door yet, we just passed (the American Rescue Plan). … Let’s evaluate what we have done, what we intended to do and how it works. There might be some overlap. We’re looking at everything to make sure that we just don’t spend money for the sake of putting money and causing more debt and causing more maybe increase in inflation and we can over-flood the market.”