Democrat Sen. Manchin hardens on cost of $3.5 trillion spending bill, says passage 'fiscal insanity'

Manchin thinks congressional Democrats needed to start with gutting former President Trump tax cuts.

Published: September 30, 2021 11:38am

Updated: September 30, 2021 11:42am

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, says the $3.5 trillion spending bill that progressives and others in his Senate conference are pushing to passage is "fiscal insanity." 

Manchin, who holds a key vote in the chamber of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, has for months raised concerns about such a massive spending bill, full of progressive initiatives like more money for “green” energy and expanded government-backed health care, especially amid concerns about inflation and voter backlash.

Manchin said Wednesday that congressional Democrats needed to start with gutting former President Trump tax cuts.

"I want to do a tax overhaul," he said in a statement, with President Biden’s legislative agenda largely hinging on the passage of the multi-trillion-dollar budget reconciliation bill.

"One thing you understand that all Democrats agreed on, there’s not a lot of things we all agree on, is that the 2017 tax cuts are unfair and weighted toward the high end. Let’s fix that. That’s the reconciliation. I think we can get a good bill done. I really do, if we work in good faith."

The Democrat-led House is set to vote Thursday on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Manchin helped pass in the Senate. However, progressives in the House Democratic Conference won’t pass that measure without assurance the $3.5 trillion bill makes it through the Senate and gets passed their chamber. 

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