Manchin urges passage of infrastructure bill; still uneasy on social spending package

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is addressing his concerns with President Joe Biden’s social spending package. He says before debating this, it’s time to vote on the traditional infrastructure bill.

The framework for the $1.75 trillion social spending bill was trimmed down from the original $3.5 trillion one and on Monday, Senator Manchin says, he’s still not completely comfortable with it.

“Simply put I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact it will have on our national debt, our economy, and most importantly our American people,” said Manchin.

Manchin says in order for him to completely support the ‘Build Back Better’ plan, he needs to have more information on where the money will go directly and validation it won’t have long term effects on the national debt.

“For example, how could I, in good conscience, vote for a bill that proposes mass expansion in social programs when vital programs like social security and Medicare face insolvency and benefits can start being reduces as early as 2026,” he said.

But local politicians in his own party say the Build Back Better plan will benefit those who call the Mountain State home. “Expanding access to childcare, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, I think everyone can agree that’s necessary,” said Delegate Mike Pushkin (D) – Kanawha.

Now, house democrats are wanting Manchin’s support on the reconciliation bill, before they vote to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. “That one actually has broad bipartisan support, I don’t think there’s really much leverage to be gained by holding up a wildly popular bill. I think they need to pass that bill and then let them get to work on the Build Back Better plan which I feel could also really benefit a lot of folks in West Virginia,” added Pushkin.

“Cause I’ve said before, holding that bill hostage is not going to work to get my support of what you want. It’s what we should all agree on and work through the process. I’m open to supporting a final bill that will help move our country forward. But I am equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia

Manchin’s statements were made as President Joe Biden joined leaders in Scotland, in an effort to combat climate change and to address its effects on the planet.

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