Dem Senator Joe Manchin (WV) tossed cold water on his party’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan, yet again. The “swing” lawmaker encouraged his fellow Democrats to use a “strategic pause” instead of rushing to use trillions of taxpayer dollars, in a new op-ed for the WSJ.
“The country faces an unprecedented amount of challenges and will inevitably have more problems in the future. Yet some lawmakers in Congress have a weird belief there is an infinite amount of money to deal with any current or future problem, and that using up trillions upon trillions of dollars will have no negative affect on our future. I disagree,” Manchin says. “An overheating economy has created a costly “inflation tax” on all middle- and working-class Americans. At $28.7 trillion and increasing, the country’s debt has gone to record levels. Over the previous 18 months, we have spent over $5 trillion responding to the covid pandemic. Now Dem congressional leaders propose to enact the largest single spending bill in history without regard to growing inflation, overwhelming debt or the inevitability of future problems. Ignoring the financial consequences of our policies will lead to a disastrous future for the next generation of American citizens.”
He goes on to ask for true debate about the package, and what Congress should spend their money on.
“We must accept a complete analysis and reporting of the implications a trillion dollar bill could have for this current generation and the next one. Such a strategic pause will allow all Congress-members to use the committee process to debate: What exactly should we fund, and what can America not afford? I, for one, will not support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that amount of extra spending, without better clarity about why the U.S. Congress chooses to ignore the effects that inflation and debt have on existing programs,” he says.
Both the Senate and the House passed frameworks for the Democratic budget proposal. On top of opposition from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), no GOP members have supported the Democrats’ proposal so far.
Author: Blake Ambrose