Manchin told White House he would support version of billionaire tax: report

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Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly told the White House last week that he would be willing to support a version of the billionaire tax in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, in a reversal from his previous criticism .

Three people familiar with his private offer informed the Washington Post this week of his endorsement of the plan, saying it was included in a list of spending and revenue proposals that he supports. It remains unclear if the West Virginian Democrat included a revenue estimate. 

Manchin’s offer included spending for pre-K, climate, and Obamacare. It did not include child tax credit funds, which are set to expire this month. 

The report comes the same week as a falling out between Manchin and the White House after attempted negotiations over the legislation. 

On Sunday, the senator announced he could not support the Build Back Better Act — dealing a possibly fatal blow to the legislation. Manchin cited his concerns on inflation, the national labor shortage and legislative stunts that could increase the national debt.

In order to pass the Build Back Better Act, Democrats must have all 50 votes in the Senate – leaving Manchin to be a key vote.

The billionaire tax was not included in the House-passed version of the bill discussed, as many Democrats – including Manchin – have slammed the proposal. 

In October, the West Virginian simply said he didn’t “like it.” 

Joe Manchin reportedly said that he would be willing to support a version of the billionaire tax in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
Chris Kleponis / CNP

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters, according to The Hill

The senator called the proposal – which would target billionaires who earn $100 million or more over three consecutive years – “very convoluted” and added that the wealthy “bring a lot of jobs, invest a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.” 

At the time, some Democrats called the proposal “a stunt” and it even received pushback from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 

The original proposal – which was sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) – would target around 700 of the wealthiest Americans and could potentially raise around $550 billion over 10 years, according to the report. 

Manchin’s support of the possible tax is an indication that Democrats have much more work to do in unifying the party to pass the legislation ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections.

President Biden still remains confident that the party will be able to pass his agenda early next year, telling reporters on Tuesday that they will “get something done.” 

Manchin’s office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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