Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., explained why he agreed to support a new spending package, promising that it will not raise taxes or worsen inflation, while admitting that he was wrong about a previous spending bill.
In a “Fox News Sunday,” interview, host Bret Baier pointed out that last year, Manchin appeared on the same program and said that a previous Democratic spending bill, the American Rescue Plan, would not lead to inflation. On Sunday, Manchin admitted he was wrong about that.
“Why should Americans believe you now when you say this new bill will not exacerbate inflation?” Baier asked.
“I’ll make sure I don’t make that mistake again,” Manchin said. “Bottom line, I’ll make sure I didn’t make that mistake again.”
Manchin also stated emphatically that the new bill will not raise taxes, even though groups like Americans for Tax Reform claim it will.
“It does not raise taxes,” Manchin said, explaining that “all it does is close loopholes.”
Manchin said that he had been doubtful that he would ever be able to reach a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and that when he did reach an agreement, he “made sure there were no tax increases whatsoever.”
The new bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, is significantly scaled back from the Build Back Better Act that Democrats failed to pass. That bill would have cost roughly $3 trillion, while the current bill would cost $433 billion.
The new bill includes a 15% corporate minimum tax for businesses worth more than $1 billion, which is estimated to raise $313 billion; stepped-up IRS tax enforcement, estimated to raise $124 billion; and it will close the carried interest loophole, estimated to raise $14 billion. The senator insisted that this is not the same as raising taxes.
“All it does is close loopholes,” he said.
Another part of the bill that Manchin addressed Sunday is a subsidy for people who make up to $300,000 a year who purchase an electric car. The provision has been criticized for forcing the general public to pay for wealthy Americans to buy expensive vehicles. Manchin himself had blasted the idea in the past, pointing out how the vehicles were already in high demand so incentives made no sense.
Today, Manchin says he still holds the same belief, but claims that the current bill is not just about buying electric but about supporting American production. In order to qualify for the subsidy, a car’s battery has to be made in the USA as opposed to China.
“We shouldn’t be looking for China to make sure that they have a total stranglehold on us and that’s what we’re trying to break. And we’re going to break it as quickly as we can, because we’re incentivizing,” he said.
Fox News’ Jason Donner and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.