Manchin surprises with spending deal announcement -- on health care, climate, more
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday they have reached a deal on a spending bill that includes health care and climate It was a reversal of sorts for the conservative Democrat who just two weeks ago backed away from climate measures being included in any spending bill, telling a radio host that inflation was "absolutely killing many, many people" and that he would have to wait until July inflation numbers were out before considering such measures. Democrats were sure then that they would be left with a health care-only bill. Some other Senators had openly begun making their peace with it.
WASHINGTON (AP) — West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the Democrats' most conservative and contrarian members, declined on Sunday to say whether he wants Democrats to retain control of Congress after the November elections. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks to reporters outside the hearing room where he chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, at the Capitol in Washington, July 19, 2022.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
The senator told NBC's “Meet the Press" that will be determined by the choices of voters in individual states, rather than his own preferences. He added that people “are sick and tired of politics” and want their representatives in Washington to put country over party.
Basement talk, virtual handshake led to Manchin-Schumer deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin secreted themselves in a basement room at the Capitol. The two men had been wrestling for more than a year in long, failed rounds of start-and-stop negotiations over President Joe Biden's big rebuilding America package. But talks had jammed up — again. With the midterm elections near, control of Congress at stake, the president and his party were at the end of the line. © Provided by Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., talks to reporters about the expansive agreement reached with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
“I’ve always taken the approach, whoever you send me, that’s your representative and I respect them and I respect the state for the people they send and I give it my best to work with them and do the best for my country,” Manchin said.
Manchin faces reelection in 2024 in a state where Donald Trump prevailed in every county in the past two presidential races, winning more than two-thirds of West Virginia's voters. But in distancing himself from fellow Democrats, Manchin also tried to decry the rise of partisanship.
“We’re not working for any party. We’re not working for any political idealism,” he said, bemoaning “bickering over political outcomes and who’s going to be in charge of what” at a time of global tensions, war and economic uncertainty fueled by rising inflation.
Joe Manchin Made His Big Move Just Before His Senate Superpowers Expire
With time running out on the clock on the Democrats’ domination of Congress, Joe Manchin shocked the Washington political world on Wednesday. After months of stymying Democrats’ efforts to pass the massive spending bill, Build Back Better—the West Virginia moderate Democratic senator agreed to salvage the deal, effectively making BBB an energy and healthcare bill. The political cognoscenti responded by saying “Holy s--t,” and wondering “why now?” and “what changed?”Manchin previously insisted the deal wasn’t dead, but said he would wait until the July inflation numbers were out before deciding (that data will be released next month).
Manchin was booked to appear on five news shows, the culmination of a high-profile week in which his compromise with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., revived a package of White House priorities on climate, health care, taxes and deficit reduction. The West Virginia senator torpedoed a grander plan last December and previously lowered expectations about a substantial agreement being reached. © Provided by Associated Press Congress Budget
The surprise deal, while more modest than earlier versions, seems to have helped transform Manchin from pariah to partner.
On "Fox News Sunday," he defended the 15% minimum tax on corporations with $1 billion or more of earnings as closing “loopholes,” rather than an outright tax increase.
Manchin said the plan, the “Inflation Reduction Act,” would help with manufacturing jobs, reduce deficits by $300 billion, lower prescription drug prices and accelerate the permitting process for energy production. These are the kinds of priorities that Republicans have supported in the past, Manchin said.
How Joe Manchin was finally convinced the new climate, tax, and healthcare deal would ease inflation and pay down the national deficit
A senator, a former Treasury Secretary, and Wharton business school were key in getting Manchin to come around to Biden's economic agenda.After killing Build Back Better in January, it seems that the centrist Democratic West Virginia senator had a few crucial conversations that convinced him that his biggest fears — raising the national debt and worsening inflation — would actually be assuaged by some version of the economic agenda he once torpedoed.
“We’re doing everything you’ve asked,” Manchin said. “I would hope, and in normal times, this would be a bipartisan bill, but I understand the toxic atmosphere we're in.”
The Senate is divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris the tiebreaking vote, giving the Democrats control of the chamber. In the House, Democrats have a 220-211 edge, with four vacancies. But in midterm elections, voters often reject the party that holds the White House, and this year, President Joe Biden's unpopularity and rising inflation are creating strong headwinds for Democrats.
Manchin demurred when asked on NBC whether he hoped Democrats would keep their majorities in Congress.
“I think people are sick and tired of politics, I really do. I think they’re sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting and feuding and holding pieces of legislation hostage because they didn’t get what they wanted,” he said, adding, “I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen.”
Inside Joe Manchin’s non-stop media tour after secret Schumer deal .
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared on every major Sunday political talk show to defend his surprise energy, health care, and tax deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) following criticism from both sides of the aisle. The West Virginia senator, who unveiled the Inflation Reduction Act on Wednesday, completed a virtual version of a "full Ginsburg" on Sunday by appearing on the five largest weekend news programs: CNN's State of the Union, Fox News Sunday, ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation and NBC's Meet the Press.