Manchin open to billionaires tax to fund Biden social spending bill
Manchin told reporters he hasn’t budged from his call for a bill no larger than $1.5 trillion
Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia indicated Monday that he would support tax proposals targeting billionaires amid ongoing negotiations within the party toward an agreement on President Biden’s sweeping social spending bill.
"I'm open to any type of thing that makes people pay that's not paying now, so people that don't report income like you and I do, earned income," Manchin told reporters. "There has to be a way for them to pay their fair share."
President Biden and his Democratic allies have argued that increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans will cover the costs of his social spending bill, which is expected to be roughly $2 trillion. But some moderates, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have pushed back against the possibility of corporate tax hikes.
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On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would introduce a proposal this week placing an annual tax on billionaires’ unrealized investment gains. Biden is among those who have expressed support for the concept, occasionally referred to as a "wealth tax," which would tax billionaires on gains in their asset portfolio, rather than after the assets are sold.
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"I wouldn’t call that a wealth tax, but it would help get at capital gains, which are an extraordinarily large part of the incomes of the wealthiest individuals and right now escape taxation until they’re realized," Yellen said during an appearance on CNN.
Manchin said Democrats "all have a different approach" to what form the taxes could take, though he expressed support.
"I support basically everyone paying their fair share of taxes," he added.
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Democrats are attempting to bridge differences between moderate and progressive lawmakers and secure an agreement on Biden’s spending bill ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline. Manchin told reporters he hasn’t budged from his call for a bill no larger than $1.5 trillion, while progressive support a larger package of as much as $2.2 trillion.