Sen. Joe Manchin says he can't support Biden's $3.5 trillion spending plan
The entire package that the Dems are trying to push through, totaling approximately $5 trillion, may well depend on the vote of Sen. Manchin.
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Sen. Joe Manchin hit the Sunday talk shows and stated that he cannot support President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending plan.
"We don't have the need to rush into this and get it done within one week because there's some deadline we're meeting or someone's going to fall through the cracks," Manchin said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"I want to make sure that children are getting taken care of, that people are basically having an opportunity to go back to work. We have 11 million jobs that we haven't filled, 8 million people still unemployed. Something's not matching up there," he added.
Asked by host Chuck Todd what he would do if he were writing this bill from scratch, Manchin said he would first look at adjusting the tax code. He said "the 2017 tax code was weighted unfairly to the wealthy."
On CNN's "State of the Union," Manchin told host Dana Bash that he didn't support the timeline of voting on the measure this week so that the House could pass it by Sept. 27.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to the September 27 deadline for a vote on the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill because a number of her caucus members wouldn't agree to vote to move the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation blueprint forward unless she agreed to that deadline. Pelosi had insisted that the two votes had to be tied together, and those members in her caucus didn't want the infrastructure bill held hostage to the reconciliation bill.
"There's no way we can get this done by the 27th if we do our job," he said.
Manchin told Bash that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) "will not have my vote, and Chuck knows that."
Bash also cited criticism from a number of Democrats, most visibly from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that Manchin opposes the bill because he is "bought and paid for by corporate donors." Manchin responded that it is "because it makes no sense at all."
"You're entitled to your own facts — I mean, your own opinions. You're just not entitled to create your own facts to support it. And that's exactly what they're doing,” Manchin said.
Earlier this month Manchin urged Democrats to "hit the pause button" on Biden's plan.
"Let's sit back. Let's see what happens," he said. "We have so much on our plate. We really have an awful lot. I think that would be the prudent, wise thing to do."
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