Moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday, June 27, said he would back any changes to the infrastructure deal as long as it makes America more competitive.
In an interview with ABC News’ “This Week,” Manchin reiterated his years-long preference for more moderate policies, responding to criticisms from his colleagues for refusing to always back radical left agendas.
“I’ve not voted any differently than I voted for 10 years. I’ve always been very moderate, very centrist,” said Manchin. “I tell people, I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate. And I want to find that middle … and I think there’s always a middle to find.”
On Sunday, Machin announced an infrastructure deal was finally reached after months of negotiations between both parties.
Speaking of the bills’ chance of passing, Manchin had high hopes for it.
“It has got more in there for clean infrastructure, clean technology, clean energy technology than ever before, more money for bridges and roads since the interstate system was built, water, getting rid of our lead pipes,” he said.
“It’s connecting in broadband all over the nation, and especially in rural America, in rural West Virginia,’ Manchin noted. “So much good in this.”
Regarding the $6 trillion reconciliation bill proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Manchin said he would agree on what the nation can pay for, not getting into debt. He suggests the amount should be “$1 trillion or $1.5 trillion or $2 trillion, whatever that comes out to be over a 10-year period.”
Staying neutral as he has always been, Manchin also did not find common ground with several views of the GOP members, such as the corporate income tax rate, which he felt should be higher.
“I never thought that the net corporate tax should have been 21%,” Manchin argued. “I always felt that 25% was very fair and balanced. So I’m willing to go to 25%. I think that basically capital gains should be at 28%, not at 21%.”
Manchin wrapped up his overall goal for the bipartisan infrastructure deal, that is, to ensure that the United States remains competitive.
“I’m not going to be supportive in voting for things that does not … make us competitive. We’re in a global economy,” stated Manchin. “I want to make sure that we’re the leader of the free world, that we can still compete, that we can still manufacture and create great jobs and pay good salaries with benefits. That’s what I want to make sure happens.”