Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is pushing back on a Democratic plan to push a “Medicaid-like” measure through the reconciliation bill for one simple reason: it lacks the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for abortion.
The moderate, pro-life West Virginia Democrat said the bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate without the Hyde amendment, telling National Review that “it has to be" included.
On Wednesday, the senator also blasted the bill’s hefty $3.5 trillion price tag.
“Spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity,” he said in a statement. “Suggesting that spending trillions more will not have an impact on inflation ignores the everyday reality that America’s families continue pay an unavoidable inflation tax. Proposing a historic expansion of social programs while ignoring the fact we are not in a recession and that millions of jobs remain open will only feed a dysfunction that could weaken our economic recovery. This is the shared reality we all now face, and it is this reality that must shape the future decisions that we, as elected leaders, must make.”
Manchin then proposed an alternative plan:
Our tax code should be reformed to fix the flaws of the 2017 tax bill and ensure everyone pays their fair share but it should not weaken our global competitiveness or the ability of millions of small businesses to compete with the Amazons of the world. Overall, the amount we spend now must be balanced with what we need and can afford – not designed to reengineer the social and economic fabric of this nation or vengefully tax for the sake of wishful spending.
In August, I recommended we take a strategic pause to provide time to develop the right policies and to continue to monitor how the pandemic and economic factors are affecting our nation’s fiscal situation before we spend more. Throughout September, I have made it clear to all those who would listen the need to means test any new social programs so that we are helping those who need it the most, not spend for the sake of spending.
He vowed to reject supporting trillions in spending that “ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces.”
“America is a great nation but great nations throughout history have been weakened by careless spending and bad policies,” he added.
The House is scheduled to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday, but it may be doomed, as progressives have vowed to kill it if an agreement on a larger spending packing isn't reached prior to the infrastructure vote. As Guy reported Wednesday, Biden's agenda could be about to crash and burn.