Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he will talk to fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) about supporting a broad tax reform and climate bill he’s negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that would reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
Sinema has kept silent about whether she will support the deal, which needs the votes of all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus to pass.
The Arizona senator expressed opposition last year to closing the carried interest tax loophole for asset managers, something that Manchin insisted be part of the deal.
Manchin said he didn’t keep Sinema in the loop during his talks with Schumer because he didn’t know if a deal was possible, but he said he plans to speak with her Monday afternoon, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on a judicial nominee to Virginia’s eastern district court.
“I’m sure we’ll get a chance to speak today because she usually comes in [on Monday], and we’ll speak on the floor,” he told reporters.
Manchin said last week that he was “adamant” about keeping a proposal to close the carried interest loophole, which lets money managers pay a capital gains tax rate on the income they earn from profitable investments.
Sinema’s staff said the senator is reviewing the legislation.
Manchin indicated that he would likely vote to protect the budget reconciliation package from amendments that would alter it significantly, arguing that he and Schumer have struck the right balance after months of difficult negotiations.
“I’m just saying, we have a good balanced piece of legislation. It’s taken me eight months to get here. We’ve listened to everybody along the way,” he said when asked whether he would vote for amendments to change the bill, which would raise $739 billion in new revenue and reduce the deficit by more than $300 billion.
Manchin said he kept his conversations with Schumer close to the vest.
“I haven’t had any conversations with anybody during the process because I wasn’t ever sure that we would get to a finale,” he acknowledged. “I never thought that could happen. I wasn’t sure.”
He said he “never quit” on the talks, but added that he “didn’t want to put people in the situation where their anticipations and hopes would go up and back down again.”
“It really unfolded last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” he added.
Manchin pushed back at Republican claims that the bill would cause Americans across income brackets to pay slightly more in taxes.
An analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, for example, shows people earning between $50,000 and $75,000 would see their taxes increase by 0.8 percent in 2023.
Bloomberg reported Sunday the bill would increase a lapsed tax on crude and imported petroleum products to 16.4 cents per barrel.
“We have to agree to disagree. My Republican colleagues are my friends and I’ve worked with them tremendously and I’ll continue to work with them in any way, shape or form,” he said. “But these are things we have all talked about in bipartisan groups. How can we start paying down our debt and take our finances seriously?”