Manchin raises billionaire tax concerns as Democrats scramble to close social spending deal

On Wednesday, Democrats rushed to close President Joe Biden’s deal Prominent Social Spending Legislation, by focusing on new ways to pay for the package, including the billionaire tax that the White House said the president supports.

At the same time, they were hoping for enough progress that House progressives would agree to vote for a separate infrastructure bill passed by the Senate before Biden heads abroad on Thursday.

Just hours after Senate Democrats on Wednesday morning unveiled a “billionaire tax” – to tax the wealth of a few hundred richest Americans – the maneuver came into question when Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a crucial vote on the larger social community, took the plunge. The spending bill raised concerns.

“I’m basically in favor of everyone paying their fair share,” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I don’t like suggesting we’re targeting different people.”

When asked about the plan, proposed by Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat, that would help pay for the $1.5-2 trillion cost of comprehensive new programs including childcare, child tax credits, family leave and environmental initiatives, Manchin hesitated, saying while he was He believes they will “absolutely” reach a deal that “will take the Senate.”

“There’s a lot going on with that and it’s very complicated,” he said. “I think it’s going to push everyone. I think we’ll end up where everyone has to get involved.”

Wyden’s plan will apply to people who own at least $1 billion in assets or $100 million in income for three consecutive years, apply to increased value on assets — so-called “unrealized gains” that are now not taxed — and affect what Nearly 700 taxpayers, according to experts. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced in a briefing Wednesday that the plan has Biden’s support.

But this option raises some constitutional concerns and could ultimately depend on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the wealth tax as a direct property tax, which is unconstitutional, or whether it is another form of income tax, which is constitutional. Legal challenges also risk undermining the president’s promise that his plans will be paid for in full.

“We will not support anything that we do not believe is legal,” Psaki said. “But I will tell you, the president supports the billionaire tax. He looks forward to working with Congress and President Wyden to make sure that high-income Americans pay their fair share,” he said.

Regardless of the billionaire’s tax plan, Manchin said he and his fellow Democrats are on board with another proposal to help pay for blanket programs: a minimum 15% tax on the nation’s richest companies.

He said, “We all agreed on a corporate tax of 15%. There is a patriotic duty to pay something to this great country to give you protection, support and opportunity. This is called a national tax. It would not be something to be despised about.”

Wyden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Angus King I-Maine presented a plan to set a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% that aims to generate profits of more than $1 billion for companies annually. They estimate that the plan will be applied to 200 companies that achieve “hundreds of billions in revenue over ten years,” according to A . statment Formation of senators.

Warren cited Arizona Democratic Senator Kirsten Sinema in promoting the plan as negotiations continued on Capitol Hill, and told reporters that they scrapped the idea of ​​raising individual tax rates on the rich because these people are avoiding taxes anyway.

“They’ve now opened that gap to the point that billionaires are driving the semi-finalists through it with cash,” Warren said of the current tax system.

The corporate tax proposal, and a separate tax on billionaires, aims to avoid taxes — what lawmakers said was a concern for Cinema, who has been with Manchin, opposing Democrats.

“The idea here is to say, ‘Enough, enough.’ If you are a company that makes more than $100 billion in profits — not revenue, not assets — but dividends, you will pay at least 15% tax,” Warren told reporters.

“It’s not a new tax idea,” she added. “Taxes are already there.” “We’re saying now, ‘We want you — you have to — do this on an annual basis instead of putting it off for 30 or 40 years. “

As the clock ticks on Biden’s foreign trip and top White House staffers put last-minute pressure on lawmakers, Psaki said Wednesday that the president also “remains open to going to Hill.”

But she also indicated that if there was no vote this week, the White House would not accept it as a loss.

“We are close to reaching an agreement,” she said of the negotiations. “They don’t look at it from the perspective of whether there is a vote in one [sic] She said, “The legislature before boarding the plane.”

Biden summoned Mansion and Cinema to the White House on Tuesday night, but Democrats still appear to be at odds over key issues related to expanding Medicare, Medicaid and family leave.

Despite objections from some progressives, optimistic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested the House could work on a “BIF” — a bipartisan infrastructure framework bill — sooner rather than later, with the mindset that the Chamber could and should vote on the BIF. With a frame in hand.

“In order to pass the BIF, we need the trust, confidence, and reality of the Building Back Better bill,” Pelosi told House Democrats in a closed-door meeting.

Notably, Pelosi said she would not put bills to a vote if she knew she would lose.

“In the next two hours, I’ll be reaching out to you on our way from here to there…depending on what happens in the White House,” she said. “That will determine our schedule, our course of action, but we are in good shape.”

Emerging from a meeting later, Pelosi told reporters that Democrats are in “very good shape” on the social spending bill.

“We just have to make decisions about one thing or another,” Pelosi said, praising Biden for leading the charge. “I feel good about it.”

Pelosi notified the members of a new dear colleague Message This afternoon, the House Laws Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the Building Better Act.

The hearing does not mean that the bill is ready for deliberation on the ground, as negotiations continue, but it will provide committee leaders with an opportunity to speak to members about the bill. I wrote that progress has been made on some sticking points, including closing the Medicaid coverage gap, but they are still working to close a deal on paid family and medical leave.

Meanwhile, disgruntled Senator Bernie Sanders told reporters he did not see a deal by the end of the day.

“I don’t know, but I don’t think so. I’m not entirely clear in terms of the revenue package. It seems that every reasonable return option has been destroyed,” Sanders said.

Members of Congress’ black block of Congress Thursday said at a news conference that they were also prepared to vote “soon” on legislation that Joyce Petty, D-Ohio, said members were not on the sidelines when it came to negotiations.

“I don’t think we’re in a position to keep kicking the can down the road,” Petty said. “You know, infrastructure is very important, and we need to make sure we meet the impending deadline.”

The White House hopes that Biden can promote the comprehensive infrastructure package at the COP26 summit and the G-20 summit this weekend.

according to Analytics By Americans Pro-Tax Tax Wealth and the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality, US billionaires have seen their combined wealth increase by 70% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to more than $5 trillion – a gain equal in size to Biden’s spending plans on Over 10 years, The Associated Press mentioned.

The president has not campaigned for a wealth tax but has vowed that no one pays less than $400,000 more in tax in his administration.

Sarah Donaldson of ABC News contributed to this report.

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