On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin again declined to speculate on endorsing President Joe Biden in 2024, saying he was hopeful his colleague, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, will join a deficit reduction, climate and energy bill the business.
Manchin’s new spending deal, negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, would close corporate tax loopholes and implement a 15% minimum corporate tax, invest billions in clean energy and reduce emissions, reduce prescription drug costs through Medicare and expand health care subsidies.
In an interview with “This Week” co-host Jonathan Karl, Manchin touted the package’s provisions, which must win the support of all 50 votes in the Democratic caucus given widespread Republican opposition.
A key vote will be Sinema of Arizona, who has previously opposed closing the so-called accrued interest tax loophole. The Manchin and Schumer bill limits but does not eliminate that exception.
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“Senator Sinema is my dear friend. I have all the respect for her, she is extremely bright and works very, very hard. She has a lot in this legislation, the way it has been designed in terms of reducing Medicare.” — let Medicare go ahead and negotiate lower drug prices,” Manchin said.
“She’s very involved in it and I appreciate it,” he told Karl. “Also, basically, when she said… ‘we’re not going to raise taxes,’ I’m okay with that.” (Sinema she has not yet commented on the proposal).
Karl pressed Manchin on his assessment that the Senate legislation would help reduce inflation, noting that a budget model from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania showed that the bill would initially slightly increase inflation.
“I understand the difference of opinion,” Manchin said. “We’re basically investing in reliable energy, making sure we use our fossil fuels cleaner than anywhere else in the world. But basically we’re aggressively producing more energy to drive down gas prices and energy costs in your home.” home and anywhere else. And basically, we’ve invested in new technology to bring back more manufacturing, like batteries… So all of this, they’re not accounting for any of that.”
Manchin, one of the Democratic Party’s most conservative lawmakers, previously declined to answer questions about his possible endorsement of Biden in 2024.
Karl asked for clarity on Manchin’s opinion, noting that it was a “simple question.”
Manchin said he was “not getting involved in it.”
“Everyone is worried about the elections. That’s the problem. It’s the 2022 election, the 2024 election. I’m not going to get involved in that,” Manchin said, adding: “I’m not going to get involved in the 2022 or 2024 election. Whoever’s president, that’s my president. Joe Biden is my president right now.”
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“Can’t you even rule out voting for a Republican for president?” carl asked
“I’m not going into the 2024 election,” Manchin replied.
His comments come amid ongoing speculation. on whether Biden will run for re-election in two years given political challenges, such as stubbornly high inflation, which helped lower his approval rating to 30, according to FiveThirtyEight. Democratic voters have said in some recent polls that they want another candidate by 2024; Biden says that he intends to run if he is healthy.
Manchin credited Biden with helping to bless the deficit reduction bill he negotiated with Schumer, DN.Y.
Manchin also defended working on the bill in secret with Schumer after previous negotiations failed multiple times, with Manchin citing his concerns about historical inflation.
“I understand all the frustration and the reason for that, I don’t want them to go through that again. I didn’t know if we could come to an agreement. I didn’t know if we could come to an agreement. So why would I put people through everything?” this drama? I’ve been through this for eight months. I tried. I kept trying,” Manchin said of the bill, which would go through the budget reconciliation process that requires only 50 votes in the Senate.
Manchin pushed back against Republican senators who said they felt misled by last week’s surprise announcement that Schumer and Manchin had agreed on legislation, saying he had always sought to compromise with the rest of the Democratic caucus.
“Everyone knew where I was on that,” Manchin said.
Manchin declines to say whether he would endorse Biden in 2024; Optimistic Sinema approves the deficit and the climate agreement originally appeared on abcnews.go.com